Performing Art Center

Batool Musa
University of Karachi, Department of Visual Studies

Project idea

The project explores the philosophy of Samuel Beckett as per the requirements of the Studio Design brief. The main essence of his philosophies are explored and become the basis of a Performing Arts Center, which works as a core to initiate discussions and ideas.
The site is a local communal area in the heart of the metropolis. "Mangal Bazaar" (Tuesday Market) , as it is famously called is not just a weekly shopping area, it is a communal hub which works as a playing field for youth during weekends, a treasure for book lovers who love to hunt secondhand books while enjoying a steaming cup of tea in the evening. And a temporary parking space for the employees who work in the surrounding offices of the area.Samuel Beckett is famous for his bewildering plays which kept the audience perplexed and agitated. His plays, with dark humor and minimal props were cynical yet portrayed the significant aspect of human experiences.It is this perplexity of his plays that I wanted to explore in my design.

Project description

Central to the location is an auditorium which is connected on multiple levels with multiple entrances.Each row has its own entrance, giving the row a feel of completely separate space, which in actuality, is the part of the auditorium. The division of auditorium of three different levels allow the audience to have better view of the stage.The Performing Art Center is more than a theater space. It is an urban oasis for the locals and the office employees of the region, providing them with a Cafe and an Amphitheater, which can be accessed 24/7.

Technical information

Because the site is in a highly active area, it is prone to noise. In order to cater to that noise, a buffer is created by keeping the spaces sunken. Not only this is a humble gesture to the surrounding but it also keeps the interior environment of the spaces moderate. The earth extracted during the construction, can be reused for the construction, thus making it a sustainable alternate.
In order to keep the identity of the site intact the "Mangal Bazaar" area is kept untouched for the weekly bazaar.
The Performing Art Center adds on to the communal significance of the site, an accolade to the metropolis in general and the people residing in the area in particular.

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