Theatre seating systems furnish various types of performance spaces. They provide the user with a comfortable seat, and often double as an acoustic absorbers in these spaces, which explains the use of plush upholstery and wood in their design.
Some theatre seating systems, such as Afra and Tobia Scarpa’s ‘Teatro’ by Meritalia, or ‘5038 Arriaga’ by FIGUERAS are modelled on traditional, old-world seats. The former design is more stripped down, and specially suited to horseshoe auditoriums, while the latter features a cast metal base and wooden shells which contain stitched upholstery. Both theatre seating systems are foldable.
‘Audit’, designed by alegreindstrial™ for ACTIU and ‘L213’ by Lamm are both more angular theatre seating systems, though the former balances on a single metal foot, while the latter is supported by its elongated armrests. Incidentally, both systems can be specified with a folding tray, which can be stowed within the armrest, even if such an addition is not strictly necessary in theatres.
Bartoli Design’s ‘Tulip Single Armchair’, also by Lamm, is a more organically formed, sculptural affair that can be mounted on a single support, or be ordered as ‘Tulip armchair on beam’. Another theatre seating system where multiple seats are supported by a single structure is matteograssi’s ‘Kube’ for EOOS, whose seats fold into a neat, floating prism when not in use.
Francisco Mangado’s angular, folding ‘Prima’ for Dynamobel was actually designed to have the highest possible acoustic absorption, and even its hinges move silently. Another such theatre seating system is Jean Nouvel’s ‘13108 Lyon’ for FIGUERAS, although its design is more curved.
Finally, True Design-manufactured ‘Ego 1000’ theatre seating system, designed by Adriano Baldanzi and Alessandro Novelli, combines upholstered seats, headrests encased within a plywood shell and aluminium structure and mechanism, all the while offering endless colour combinations, making it suitable for serious, as well as more frivolous performance spaces.