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A Theatre For a New Scientific Age

Part 2 Project 2013
Guy Moulson
University of Sheffield, UK
A Theatre for a New Scientific Age is an investigation into the development of an architectural language that represents a critical form of theatre, one which can offer respite for the people of Venice; respite from the ‘bourgeois’ opera sought by the ‘tourist’.

This theatre operates behind the mask of Venice, on it’s northern shore, at the end of a narrow pass behind the facades of the Grand Canal and the Strada Nuova. The progress already made by those who operate the Teatro Foundamenta Nuove (trans. New Quays Theatre) reflects a desire for the people of Venice to engage with a wider palette of cultural production; not to merely entertain the masses who visit Venice daily but to encourage younger generations to continue to live in Venice and contribute to a culture.

A new type of theatre is sought, one that forces its audience to no longer sit passively in the wings but to question the material placed in front of them. Plot becomes narrative.

Brechtian Theatre, or more appropriately Epic Theatre is adopted by this study in order to provide a structure with which to develop a suitable architectural language. The language of a theatre, as a building type, can be dissected and re-defined in order to reflect the intentions of the material shown within. Representation and aesthetics are issues that can be addressed architecturally and are wholly necessary if we wish to define a place for a type of theatre to exist. It’s metaphysical aspirations, of narrative, observation, montage, social being and inquiry can be represented by the tectonic arrangement of parts, and the revealing of the otherwise concealed elements of a theatre.

The new scientific age then, is one that is undergoing significant environmental change and the architectural representation of a theatre is but a modicum of concern however, it can reflect the desires of a place to communicate the affects of change within it’s own environment. Be it socially, in its desire to develop new cultural modes of production or physically, in the representation of climatic and ecological change in the lagoon.

Guy Moulson

Mr Russell Light
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