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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 15 (xv)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 15
Page 15

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 15

be coordinated with the other important functions of a theatre building. Much of this work was done in 1938, and is still applicable today.

One of the things that Schlanger felt was wrong with acoustic planning, was

AN EARLY EXAMPLE of neutral auditorium suriaces is Seen in the Sutton. New York. Ornamentation was sacrificed to acoustical design.

that it was largely corrective in nature rather than constructive. In most cases the usual procedure was to first plan the theatre from all other aspects, even to determining the decorative treatment, before considering acoustics. Then sound absorbing materials were selected with a View to correcting or compensating for acoustical deficiencies in the design.

It was Schlangerls contention that this approach to the solution of acoustical problems became common because of these reasons: The preliminary basic form of the auditorium was not planned for best acoustics; the total volume of the auditorium structure was not held down so as to fall within the desirable limits, as it might have been; and the tendency to follow tradition in architectural design practice usually made it mandatory to utilize corrective methods. He believed that reliance upon these corrective devices was carried over into the planning of new theatres, and as a


result basic acoustical design was overlooked.

Potwin and Schlanger were of the opinion that more efiicient and more economical theatre structures could be built when basic acoustical requirements were coordinated with the other primary functions of theatre planning. They offered four reasons why this constructive approach would produce more successful results.

First, they felt that the various elements affecting the control of sound in a design could be studied initially and planned correctly, with the result that very little or no acoustical material need be provided for the wall or ceiling surfaces. Secondly, minimum surface treatment made for better acoustics because the proper character of reverberation and absorption could be assured, and less critical conditions need be met in balancing the frequency absorption characteristic of the theatre, Their third reason was that in cases where little or no acoustical material was required, the architect was at liberty to use ordinary, every-day materials, thereby making for greater flexibility in design. Their final reason was that when a theatre was efficiently planned in this way, substantial economies could be realized not only in acoustical treatment, but also in other phases of theatre planning.

Schlangcr was sure that from the architectural standpoint, planning for proper acoustical conditions in the initial stage did not preclude the ability to obtain pleasing forms or surface finishes for the auditorium.

The research engineer and the archie tect both agreed that the two fundamental factors that must be considered as the first step in the functional acoustic planning of a theatre, were the preliminary outline or basic form of the auditorium, establishing its proportions of length, width, and height; and the

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 15