Sant’Agostino Theatre (90 seats)

Architectural acoustics executive project.


The history of the Church

The Convent of Sant’Agostino was founded before 1358, at the Sant’Anna Gate in Antrodoco. Preserved in this ancient church, now deconsecrated, are frescoes from the Church of the Trinitarian Fathers in Rome, painted by Carlo Cesi, a painter and engraver to the papal court. Above the entrance is an Annunciation by Lin Delija, an Albanese painter who lived in Antrodoco, depicting the Virgin Mary, the Archangel, San Francesco, Santa Chiara and Choirs of Angels.

The religious building is now deconsecrated, and after a series of alternating fortunes and periods of abandonment, it was repurposed towards the end of 2016, when it became what is now the Sant’Agostino Theatre, thanks to an agreement between the Parish and the Municipal Council.

The renovation project

The renovation of the Church of Sant’Agostino consisted of the integration into the building of a small theatre with a capacity of around 90 seats, equipped with all the necessary stagecraft facilities. A stage was built, together with upholstered seats and a control room; heavy drapes were installed to mark off the foyer from the main part of the theatre, the harlequin curtains, three trusses with stage lighting and a sound amplification system. The stage is wired to the control room at the back of the theatre, so that any orchestral elements can be miked.

The end result is a marvel of technical efficiency and efficacy, in an architectural setting of significant artistic and historical appeal.

Acoustic design – the challenge the project presented from an acoustic point of view was to identify the right solution for containing the typical reverberation time of the theatre (8 seconds). The first intervention involved delimiting the space in order to reduce the volumes involved; heavy drapes were used for this purpose, and a new suspended ceiling was installed.

The executive design of the “new Theatre” involved the construction of a new roof, composed of a fully slotted MDF panel with temperature-controlled polyester fibre backing.

The project consisted of selecting the slotting of the wood panels of the new roof, to guarantee a quality listening experience and acoustic comfort in the theatre.

Software modelling was followed by the design and crafting of the MDF acoustic suspended ceiling, slotted using a laser-controlled machine.

The design of the sound correction system also took account of the contribution made by the seats and the drapes, with excellent results in terms of frequency response and containing of costs. This executive project has thus sought to design, define and verify the type of architectural coverings used based on their acoustic (sound absorption) properties.

The end result enabled a reduction in reverberation time from approx. 8 seconds to approx. 1 second.

The whole renovation was design and implemented by Dari Automazioni S.r.l.

  • Lorenzo Dari