Cover Image

Staging the Intermission

Hannes Frykholm


This paper considers the intermission of a concert night as a time-space for different forms of waiting and encounters with the outside city. By combining on-site observations from the foyer of the concert hall Casa da Musica in Porto, with a theoretical discussion on temporality and rhythms in the city, the paper analyses how the interstitial moments of waiting is constructed in this building. The paper uses the concept of “waiting niches” to consider what kind of waiting that the building affords, either through programmed spaces for waiting, or as spaces discovered by inhabitants. Rather than describing a specific location or form, a niche describes how something or somewhere is appropriated by a particular species at a particular time. The paper identifies three main kinds of waiting niches in the concert hall foyer: Firstly, the lounge niche, which is a space designed and furnished for waiting during particular lengths of time. Secondly, the micro niche which is an ephemeral and temporary niche for shorter forms of waiting, appearing in smaller and secluded places around the foyer. Thirdly, the threshold niche that happens on the entrance stairs to the building, where the concert audience and people passing by are exposed to each other and where the correct form of waiting is less clear than on the inside. These niches are not unique for the concert hall foyer, but could be considered in many other building typologies and for many other types of events. In conclusion the paper argues that to better understand and explore the formal and informal waiting niches of a lobby can be a way for architectural practice to support unexpected encounters between the inhabit- ants of a building and the people on the outside.


temporality; foyer; niches; waiting

Full Text: JOSS_7_217_P165-178