Retractable Seating Systems and how to choose them

17 October 2018

What to consider when researching a retractable seating system:

When researching seating options for your multi-use venue, retractable seating can be the best way to maximise your available space. Retractable seating can save you setup time and storage space as it does just what it’s name suggests by folding back into itself when not in use.

What exactly is retractable seating?

Retractable seating is easiest to define as rows of multiple tiers of deck platforms that store away into a closed position when the area is required to be used for other purposes. The platforms operate of the retractable principal, stacking vertically under the one above, to minimise the floor area when not in use.

What types of retractable seating systems are there?

Fixed - This is a typical system that is bolted to the back wall and floor. These units stay in place once retracted.

Recessed - A floor fixed unit that is stored within an alcove or underneath a balcony. This can allow rear access from the balcony or mezzanine.

Mobile - This is a self-supporting unit that can be moved around for storage and use in different locations within a space.

Travelling Free Standing - A powered bank of seating that can be moved up and down a hall to create a more intimate setting. They usually will move in a straight line only.

How much space do I need for a retractable seating system?

The space available can make or break your decision to purchase a retractable seating system for your venue. Firstly, you need to know what the width available to use is. When looking at the width, you need to make sure that you are not going to block any doors, windows or critical parts of your venue. Next, you need to look at the depth available to you as you don’t want your seating to hit any obstructions when it’s extended. Then finally, you need to look a the height available. There needs to be at least 2100mm of air space above the top tier of seating to allow for those enthusiastic fans who decide to stand up and throw their hands in the air like they just don’t care.

What type of floor covering can be used with retractable seating systems?

The type of flooring that you currently have is an essential consideration when deciding what type of retractable seating system that you install. The ideal type of flooring that keeps your options open is smooth, hard, level flooring such as concrete, hardwood, hard tiles or wood strip. Other floor types such as carpet may require special running boards for the wheels of mobile units to run on.

Check out our Portfolio for more photos of retractable seating system installations!

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