Michael Rahmatoulin, Architectural Design

Select Works - 2018

selected works/design/
sensory cinema

Advanced Design Studio
Austin, TX

Spring 2016
Instructor: Clay Odom

The goal of this project was to explore spatial conditions of the cinema by engaging the user’s senses and immerse them in worlds that can almost feel like a stage in themselves. A traditional theatre is often a collection of spaces that supports the main theatre halls, but by flipping this relationship, a sensory theatre would be a collection of spatial effects based on the programs happening inside the spaces.

The effects generated for the sensory theatre are directly related and engage the user through the interaction of light which responds to movement, and sound generated in the spaces. The generation of these effects was driven by both precedent studies and analytical diagrams which mapped out a “typical” theater and the various forces affecting it.
As well as creating this sense of delight and heightened cinema going experience, the project investigates the potential for a modular system that can shrink and grow depending on the site. These ideas culminated in a prototypical adaptive re-use investigation that proposed an urban cinema in Austin’s prominent downtown music district. Within, the “effect” application is separated into three conditions: wall, floor/ceiling, and solid/void.

“The result was a vertical cinema that
challenges the typical conventions of a
suburban theater.”

By utilizing an existing building for this exploration, there was an inherent challenge to make everything fit. Without detailed drawings of the existing structure, assumptions had to be made, but close estimates, even down to structural elements were still made. This allowed the different modular programs to simply stack on top of each other and be connected through various paths. The result was a vertical cinema that challenges the typical conventions of a suburban theater that is laid out horizontally.

The project’s focus on exploring the interstitial and supportive spaces of a theatre allow
users to be immersed in a dynamic experience before they even start watching the movie. Furthermore, these spaces also investigate the possibility of adaptive programs and spaces available to the public outside the operational hours of a cinema, such as a ground level and rooftop amphitheater that can host cultural events and art installations.

© michaelrahmatoulin 2018