ALHAMRE OPEN AIR THEATERIn this report we are going to relate alhamra open air theater with the unique historical buildingCOLOSSEUM.Introduction:The Colosseum or Roman Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre (Latin:Amphitheatrum Flavium, Italian Anfiteatro Flavio or Colosseo), is an elliptical amphitheatre inthe center of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is one of thegreatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering.Alhamra open air theater is constructed in 1993.and the shape of plan is round as that ofcolosseum and designed by the architect NAYYER ALI DADA.it is a public building and use astheater. The similar function as that of colosseum in the history.Spectators capacity and usage:Colosseum:Colosseum was capable of seating 50,000 spectators, the Colosseum was used for gladiatorialcontests and public spectacles. As well as the gladiatorial games, other public spectacles wereheld there, such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famousbattles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used forentertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing,workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.
Alhamra open air theater:The arena of open air theater was to accommodate an audience of 4,500, seating all around thestage provides close range visibility for the maximum number of viewers. The arena concept ofthis building is a direct reference to what the architect perceived as old Greek and Romantheatres. The project provides the largest gallery space for performing arts in Lahore due to theflexibility of designed space. It has catered for the following multiple uses, large musicalconcerts, plays, puppet festivals, seminars, art shows and various other activities. Space in andaround the building, the architectural ambiance of the place has inspired artists a great deal.International troupe have invariably commended the project for its elegance and utility, boththe outdoors and indoors. Equally useful income from the commercial areas help in running theexpenses of the project.EXTERIOR:Colosseum:The Colosseum is an entirely free-standing structure. It derives its basic exterior and interiorarchitecture from that of two Roman theatres back to back. It is elliptical in plan and is 189meters (615 ft / 640 Roman feet) long, and 156 meters (510 ft / 528 Roman feet) wide, with abase area of 6 acres (24,000 m2). The height of the outer wall is 48 meters (157 ft / 165 Romanfeet). The perimeter originally measured 545 meters (1,788 ft / 1,835 Roman feet). The centralarena is an oval (287 ft) long and (180 ft) wide, surrounded by a wall (15 ft) high, above whichrose tiers of seatingAlhamra open air theater:The open-air theatre was designed for large cultural activities. It has a seating capacity of 4500,backstage facilities, two smaller theatres/auditoriums (350-400 people), retail spaces, restrooms,VIP lounge, and rehearsal areas. The basic mass of the building is cylindrical. The commercialactivities on the ground level provide financing for the building. The exterior of the building ismade of red brick interspersed with courses of decorative patterns made of ceramic tiles orbevelled bricks. Small pairs of windows that bring light to the upper level passages make anotherhorizontal pattern on the wall. On the parapet level, semi-circular arched openings run along thetop of the wall. The building therefore, has a horizontal composition.
INTERIOR:Colosseum:According to the Codex-Calendar of 354, the Colosseum could accommodate 87,000 people,although modern estimates put the figure at around 50,000. They were seated in a tieredarrangement that reflected the rigidly stratified nature of Roman society. Special boxes wereprovided at the north and south ends respectively for the Emperor and the Vestal Virgins,providing the best views of the arena. Flanking them at the same level was a broad platform orpodium for the senatorial class, who were allowed to bring their own chairs. The names of some5th century senators can still be seen carved into the stonework.Alhamra open air theater:The arena of the theatre is primarily hexagonal in shape. The transfer from the circular envelopeto the hexagonal stage engendered two types of circulation patterns: one that runs radially fromthe centre to the periphery and the other runs parallel to the sides of the hexagon. The overlap ofthe sides of the hexagon resulted in the location of some seating sections slightly off from thecentre. This helps to lighten up the effect of the centrality of the composition, by accentuatingslightly oblong lines of sight. The basic design premise starts from the functional requirements of
sight lines and acoustics. As the arena was to accommodate an audience of 4,500, seating allaround the stage provides close range visibility for the maximum number of viewers.THE MATERIAL USE ON EXTERIOR:The drum shape with regular arches and entrance steps wrapped in rising staggered wall, hint theancient coliseum. Even the solitary columns in the forecourt suggest subtly the ancient character of sucharenas. Brick cladding and its detailing in blue tiles signal the traditional mausoleums of Multan. Its thevery vivid montage of two ancient architectural expressions; one to describe its function and the otherits outer enumeration, which is readily accepted by the public.
CONCLUSION:It provides the largest gallery space for performing arts in Lahore due to the flexibility of designed space.It has catered for the following multiple uses, large musical concerts, plays, puppet festivals, seminars,art shows and various other activities. Space in and around the building, the architectural ambiance ofthe place has inspired artists a great deal. International troupe have invariably commended the projectfor its elegance and utility, both the outdoors and indoors. Equally useful income from the commercialareas help in running the expenses of the project. The construction of this large project has revived anear dying tradition of hand-made blue tile. These tiles were traditionally used for construction ofarchitectural monuments in the region of Multan in Pakistan. There future and the skills of the localartisans is threatened by the industrializing and modernizing aspirations of this young country. Thearchitect of this project is recognized for creatively providing the modern requirements of an open airtheater while reviving a traditional craft of the region. Alhamra is now established as the NationalCentre of Arts in the country.