The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Concert Hall is Austin’s largest theatre, with seating for 2,900. Located on the University of Texas at Austin campus, Bass Concert Hall is the flagship theatre of Texas Performing Arts, and it attracts some of the world’s greatest performers and most elaborate traveling productions.
A major renovation several years ago added a five-story atrium to the facility and created new wayfinding and orientation challenges for event attendees. To address these challenges, Texas Performing Arts asked fd2s to develop a program of signage and environmental enhancements that would improve the attendee experience by making it easier to navigate the multi-level building during events.
The fd2s team began by conducting a comprehensive wayfinding assessment covering the building’s approaches, entries, and circulation areas. This included observing circulation patterns and visitor behavior during an actual event. This assessment then guided the development of a comprehensive wayfinding strategy, covering identification for sections, levels, and amenities; directional signage; informational elements; and building identification.
During the design process, fd2s placed a major emphasis on creating signage components and architectural enhancements that could be fabricated, installed, and maintained using the in-house resources of the Bass Concert Hall Scenic Studio. The fd2s team worked closely with Scenic Studio staff to understand their internal technical capabilities and production capacity, and the team tailored the system’s design and materials selection accordingly.
The early reviews of the new program have been extremely positive. Visitors have complimented the system’s legibility and compatibility with the project architecture, and staff has reported fewer event attendees having difficulty finding their seats and theatre amenities. The Scenic Studio staff is also responding positively to the system and the ability it gives them to participate in a new aspect of Bass Concert Hall’s continued success.