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About

Final Major Project
Published:
SALEM VAUDEVILLE THEATRE
Fuelled by an avid appreciation for black and white movies of the 1940s/50s era, theatre and installation art, I researched heavily into Vaudeville Theatre. Vaudeville was a style of variety entertainment in which singers, dancers, comedians, acrobats, animal acts (to name a few) would perform on the same bill. This style of clean entertainment provided a place suitable for women as well as men, and also children, while also providing a platform for aspiring stars of the time. Stars such as Fred Astaire and Bob Hope began their careers on the Vaudeville stage, before becoming big names of the time. In this project I wanted to capture the atmosphere and unique characteristics of the Vaudeville Theatres from the late 1800s/ early 1900s and introduce it into contemporary society, again providing a platform for aspiring performers and place to unite society.
MAIN ENTRANCE - This unused space at the side of the building was perfect for the main entrance walkway, which has been defined by these curved sculptural forms which draw the user through them and towards the main doors. Projection screens and built in lights scatter the path towards the doors to build up anticipation and wet the visitors appetite for the dramatic spaces that are to be revealed beyond the front doors.
ENTRANCE ZONE - Through the main doors and beyond the box office, lies the two-storey high space of the entrance zone, which provides a space for visitors to enjoy and explore before a performance. The space includes a number of visual and audio installations, including the main focus, which is the walk-through projection curtain, on which is shown past performances in the space. The audio seating at the back of this image, provide pod shaped seats in which the user can listen to audio tracks of their choice or sound installations provided by local artists. Part of the elaborately decorated existing balcony can still be seen to respect the history of this stunning building.
BRIDGE- Constructed adjacent to the auditorium wall (as seen on the right), the bridge allows access to the first floor balcony of the auditorium, as well as a viewing platform over the entrance zone. Long, narrow windows have been installed within the auditorium wall to allow a glimpse into the space beyond. This idea is fuelled by the concept of slow reveal, inspired by the build up of a performance as felt by the audience.
AUDITORIUM - The final space revealed to the visitor is the auditorium, which has been influenced by the Shakespearean Globe Theatre in terms of the circular shape and balconies, and also the vibrant and rich colours of the early Vaudeville Theatres. The contemporary jagged stage provides a platform that can be viewed from the first floor balconies (both front and rear), and the ground floor seating areas, that have been designed to look similar to church pews (respecting the buildings history in which it was a church). A fabricated ceiling and perforated panels have been added, as well as carpet walkways, to help with the acoustics of the space. Dramatically shaped light panels have also been installed in the ceiling to emphasise the drama of the space.
EXPLODED PLAN - This diagram shows how the three floors of the building link together to create a dramtic and exciting space, as well as explaining the route of the user through the space, as shown by the red (ground floor route to stage) and yellow (first floor route to balcony) lines.
Cross-section sketch demonstrating the use of the volume of the space and the interaction of the different spaces.