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Image courtesy of Trahan Architects

From Furniture to Form: Alliance Theatre’s Show-Stopping Renovation

The recently completed renovation of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, the US, by Trahan Architects draws inspiration from furniture designer Matthias Pliessnig to provide an iconic yet organic space. Here the architects explain the project and the techniques behind its unique fabrication

A symphony of technology and traditional techniques, Trahan Architects’ renovation of the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta has transformed the space in many ways, but the most notable is its use of steam-bent oak to give an organic form to the main auditorium.


The result of a partnership with furniture designer Matthais Pliessnig, and created by CW Keller + Associates, the steam-bent wood elements appear traditional, but are created using a host of sophisticated technologies.


3D projection and modelling was used at the design, manufacturing and installation, ensuring the form fit perfectly with the existing structure.


However, tradition also played a key role. Each oak strand was sourced from fallen trees, and finished with hand-rubbed dye and a fire-proof finishing.

The result is a structure that not only provides a striking appearance, but provides strong acoustic benefits for the space.