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São Paulo, Brazil

Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Santa Cruz High School needed to build a theater on campus that could be used in curricular activities and events in the school, such as exhibitions, science fairs, conferences, graduations and auditions, while it would also be open to the general public. In order to design the building, we were granted total freedom in formal and conceptual propositions from the principal Luiz Eduardo Cerqueira Magalhães.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The initial configuration possibilities of stage-audience relationship developed by scenic architect J.C. Serroni and Gustavo Lanfranchi already indicated that the theater should offer beyond the traditional types such as the Italian stage, Elizabethan and arena, allowing possibilities not yet known and that could stimulate research in the area.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Having designed these configurations, the challenge was to respond architecturally to the conceptual demands which we did by designing a hall with internal auditorium volume of 20m x 20m and height of 13m, with a fixed audience of 210 seats, an inferior collapsible auditorium with 120 seats and galleries with 150 seats, besides the possibility of adding seats for certain events.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The stage is leveled with the entrance of spectators and always communicates with it through the side prosceniums, which in itself already defines a rupture with the division stage / audience, even in the Italian stage setting: the audience advances on the stage and vice-versa.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The collapsible inferior audience is seated on a 1m deep trench-like cavity below stage level, and the seats, which are placed on movable plates, are supported by telescopic platforms which are adjustable in height by pantograph mechanism, allowing the whole area to be incorporated to the stage, increasing the depth of the stage space (can we still call it a stage?) from 14m to 22m. The seats can then be positioned in various ways: laterally, forming a catwalk; opposed to the center stage; in arena form; or even without seats on the space.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The implementation of the building was planned so that the theater would be integrated not only in the high school campus in terms of the urban context – it is located in a highly arboreous area both internally and in the urban context, with large trees and extensive lawns – but also in terms of its insertion in a set of existing school buildings with different types, building systems and materials. The location of the theater at the end of the soccer field provides a visual perspective of the lawn with the building at the background.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The structural system was designed with a superstructure made of in situ concrete, with rectangular pillars, surrounded by double insulating walls with an empty inner space, made of exposed ceramic brick in the closed area of the stage and auditorium area; and in the events area, pillars with external circular section and sealing with aluminum frames, glass and shutters, providing plenty of lighting and allowing these areas to “breathe”. The grid slabs provide the required void spaces in the foyer and in the exhibition room.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The structure of the roof and the technical floor in flat steel trusses supports a system of soundproof insulation made of two slabs of cellular concrete and between them a layer of glass wool. The bottom flange of the trusses supports a system of technical and maintenance walkways over the entire area of the auditorium and the fly loft deck made in steel profiles over the stage.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

The project and its detailing sought, at all stages of development, to respond technically and formally to the conceptual criteria of scenic architecture, constructability, functionality and the maintenance and conservation needs of the building and thereafter, exploring the plastic and architectural possibilities.

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

Elito Arquitetos — Santa Cruz High School Theatre

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