Arizona State University

Phoenix, Arizona253 seats

Flowing tiered areas are an increasingly popular feature of today’s atriums, creating an open and welcoming feel. Such spaces invite people to linger for a while, whether to sit, work, eat or chat.

At Arizona State University’s Beus Center for Law and Society, New York City-based Ennead Architects were looking to take this trend a step further. Their aim was to create a space which also could double as a more formal auditorium.  

Audience Systems were pivotal in helping to achieve this. The company’s Recital chair is a high specification auditorium seat which folds up almost impossibly small for storage. Audience Systems collaborated with engineers from local seating experts Titan Carter who brought together the Recital chair with a highly engineered tiering structure by Performance Solutions in Toronto. The result is a removable auditorium with chairs that fold down flat and slide back under power to be housed inside the tiering. Once the chairs are stored, the tiers can be transformed with bright cushions to create a welcoming break-out area.

The resulting multi-use space, now known as the Armstrong Great Hall, is used as a lobby, lecture theatre and general gathering space. Separated from the outside by huge bi-fold doors it creates a space which feels open to the community - important in a building where the theme is the interaction between law and society. 


Photos Courtesy of Lynn French, Arizona State University