How to design your Performing art center?

2021-12-10T04:24:54-05:00December 10th, 2021|

IBasic structure and function of theater seating

Theater seating is composed of seat, back, armrest and station. In general, the station and armrest are integrated to form a firmly installed handrail frame. The composition structure is generally steel-wood structure or steel-plastic structure.

It is applicable to theaters, auditoriums, lecture halls and other places. There should be a good line of sight during meetings and performances. The seats shall be easy to repair and clean. They should be comfortable to make people less tired.

Design features of theater seating

In most cases, it adopts the sofa type cushion. In order to facilitate the evacuation of personnel when leaving, the reversible structure of seat cushion is mostly used. The seat number and local lighting facilities in the dark shall be considered for the seat to facilitate the user to identify and find the seat.

According to the needs of use and site design, the seats in the auditoriums need to place documents and writing tablet for recording. For special auditoriums, it also need to consider the combination with simultaneous interpretation equipment and voting and speaking equipment; Some theaters or auditoriums also require seats to match with the air conditioning system.

  1. Theater seating station foot
  • Single pedestal supporting seat

In addition to its aesthetics, the station foot supports the central point of seats, it is also convenient to connect the chair legs with other facilities of the environment, such as vents and power interfaces. Because the connection mode of single pedestal is relatively complex, the cost of single pedestal mechanism is increased accordingly.


  • Seat with armrest standing on the floor

It is firm and reliable, easy to fix and install. The handrail frame is combined with the foot, and the structure is simple. The standing foot is the basis for the support of theater seating, and is normally fixed directly to the ground with anchor bolts.

leadcom seating auditorium seating LS-623_4

  1. Theater seating armrest

The armrest of theater seating is the basic support of whole seat, and the main components of seat are connected with the armrest. The structure of armrests is divided into:

  • Metal frame: the framework of armrest, which is basically the supporting connector of the whole theater seating.
  • Armrest board: it is made of wood or other materials such as plastic,
  • Writing tablet mechanism: the armrest of theater seating can be installed with a writing tablet mechanism for meeting minutes.
  1. Theater seating pack

Theater seating pack is generally composed of fabric, sponge cushion, inner frame, rotating mechanism and outer plate.

  • Fabric: it usually adopts hemp soft cloth, velveteen or car velvet fabrics; Some also use genuine leather and imitation leather as fabrics.
  • Sponge cushion: it is made of PU (polyurethane) foam, and the density of 40~60Kg/M3 is more appropriate.
  • Inner frame: according to different designs, the curved wood splint and plastic plate are used for simple structure, and the spring metal frame and plastic inner shell are used for advanced seats.
  • Rotating mechanism: it is divided into gravity recovery mechanism and spring recovery mechanism,

The gravity recovery mechanism is simple and reliable without maintenance. It is often equipped with rubber silencing pad to eliminate impact and noise during recovery;

The spring recovery can reduce the volume of the recovery mechanism, and the structural design is flexible. With the damping device, the recovery movement can be controlled, the movement becomes slow, and the impact and noise can be completely eliminated;

In addition, the European patented technology — pneumatic recovery from France has been introduced into the Chinese market. The starting device makes the chair seat cushion in the process of opening and recovery not to produce any disturbing sound. It is light, elegant, safe, firm and hidden, which does not affect the beauty of the seat shape.

  • Outer plate: it can be made of wood, plastic or other materials according to the design needs. Its main function is to decorate and connect with the recovery mechanism.
  1. Theater seating backpack

It is generally composed of fabric, sponge cushion, inner panel and outer panel.

  • Fabric: it usually adopts hemp soft cloth, velveteen or car velvet fabrics; Some also use genuine leather and imitation leather as fabrics.
  • Sponge cushion: it is made of PU (polyurethane) foam, and the density of 35~50Kg/M3 is more appropriate.
  • Inner panel: according to different designs, it can use the curved wood splint and metal frame structure. When the metal frame structure is used, it is called steel frame. Sometimes the steel frame is directly buried in sponge.
  • Outer plate: it has the same function as the outer seat pan. It can also be made of wood, plastic or other materials. Its main function is to decorate and connect with the handrail.
  1. Optional accessories for theater seating
  • Theater seating tablet

The tablet is designed as an accessory to a chair used for meetings or lectures, which is convenient for taking notes and placing documents and books during meetings or lectures. Generally, there are two types: open and hidden.

  • Theater seating cup holder

Cup holders are divided into handrail cup holders and external cup holders

Armrest cup holder is mainly used in cinemas and places where it is often necessary to use. Most of the armrest cup holders are designed into an integrated structure with the armrest.

The external cup holder is mostly used in meetings, classes and other places, which can only be used when necessary. There are two kinds of external cup holders: front cup holder and rear cup holder.

IIHow to design theater seating

Audience sight lines, seat accessibility and sound field acoustics, all these aspects make the theater seating arrangement have precise technical and artistic requirements. Each design has complete details and clear number of seats. The seating areas on the floor with each row are roughly divided into three categories as follows:
      1. End Stage

In the class of End Stage, the whole audience faces the stage in the same direction. The sight lines are simple, which makes the design well suited for presentations, films and slide shows. This type is also suitable for traditional rectangular theaters.

However, End Stages are less successful in creating an intimate relationship between performer and attention. Therefore, this format is not suitable for large theaters due to acoustical limitations.

  1. Broad fan

This form of theater is arranged in a 130-degree range, which brings the audience closer to the performers, creating a more intimate experience.

This angle also means that the format is suitable for speech-related performances. It is more difficult to show movies in such a space, as the hardwood needs to be particularly well placed – perhaps the audience at the back will find their sight distorted.

     3. Three quarters theater

Three quarters of the theater is formed with an arrangement of 180 to 270 degrees. For the audience and performers, the acoustic and visual connections have been enhanced. When the audience looks up and sees other audiences, it will feel that the sense of tolerance of space will be further enhanced.

However, this is almost impossible for traditional cinemas unless additional screen arrangements are provided, such as small screens facing all angles in the space.

     4. Other types

The first three are the most common ways of seat layout design, and there are other theater seat layouts.

  • Royal Albert Hal: the seats are surrounded by a circle, which is common for large theaters;
  • Vineyard style: this style of seating is located inside small partitions on different floors;
  • Hamburg Elbphilharmonie: the seats are arranged at the back of the stage;
  • Bijlmer Park Theatre: it adopts the mixed method of End Stage and three-quarters theater, and the seats can be flexibly switched between the two;
  • The Wave: the seats are arranged like waves.

IIIResearch and analysis of sound absorption performance of theater seating

As the sound absorption of the audience accounts for a large proportion of the total sound absorption of whole auditorium (usually accounts for about 1/2 to 2/3 ), the seat absorption performance is a decisive factor affecting the reverberation time indicator in the auditorium.

In addition to the requirements of coordination with the interior decoration effects, audience comfort and fire protection, the design and selection of theater seating also need to meet the acoustic requirements.

According to the architectural acoustics design and measurement experience of several theaters and considering the importance of seats in the auditorium, the acoustics profession puts forward the following requirements for seats in the auditorium:

  1. In order to reduce the variation of reverberation time in the auditorium under different occupancy conditions, it is required that when the seats are empty and there are spectators, the variation of sound absorption volume shall be as small as possible.
  2. The seat adopts wood backrest and hardwood armrest. On the upper part and two sides of chair back, it shall leave a section of decorative wooden frame edge. On the premise of meeting the needs for comfort, the cushion in the seat back shall be thinner and smaller as possible to reduce sound absorption.
  3. The bottom surface of the seat shall be treated with sound absorption, and the perforated plate shall be selected, which is perforated as required by the sound absorption.

When the seat cushion is turned over, it shall be equipped with a damping device. The rotation noise shall be lower than the hearing area of the human ear, and the maximum impact noise shall not exceed 15dB(A).

When the air supply under the seat is adopted, the current equalizer shall be set inside the replacement air supply duct to achieve the effect of stable and uniform air supply, so as to avoid the feeling of blowing at the ankles of the human body. From the center of the air supply column 400mm, the wind speed at a height of 200mm shall not greater than 0.2m/s,  the A weighted sound power level of a single air outlet shall not exceed 15dB (A).  Typical styles of seats meeting the acoustic requirements are as follows:

leadcom auditorium seating 18603-1LS-21601-1LS-18605-1

Relatively speaking, the simple and lightweight seat style is more popular.

There are certain differences in the sound absorption performance of seats in different theaters, which will be reduced after sitting.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!