A Harlequin Pattern for an Artist Square

General / People / Places / Products / March 16, 2012

Back behind Foster + Partner’s Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas lies a quiet, lush and green amphitheater with room to seat as many as 5,000 people.

Atop its stage is The Annette Strauss Artist Square stage house, a zinc-and-aluminum, diamond-patterned affair designed to set itself off from the charcoal wall of the opera house – and remain sympathetic as well.

“The zinc panels are an affordable and responsible solution that worked with our budget,” says Thom Powell of Good, Fulton & Farrell (GFF), architects of record on the project.

The silvery-metallic harlequin pattern is designed to change and contrast as the sun moves through the Texas sky.  The zinc originally came from VMZINC in Raleigh, N.C., and the aluminum from Mitsubishi Chemical.

“We supplied the zinc in a coil stock cut to a sheet, to be transformed by a second party into a composite skin, which was then turned into basically a zinc sandwich by a fabricator in Carrollton,” says Daniel Nicely, director of market development at VMZINC in Raleigh, N.C.  “It’s a pretty phenomenal outcome that will last for a very long time.”

NOW Specialties was fabricator and installer for the panels.

The stage is a 35 by 70-foot platform that’s 50 feet tall, beneath Foster’s opera house canopy.  It is the formalization of artist space into amphitheater, and a design collaboration between Foster and GFF.

The opera house and amphitheater are part of the Dallas Arts District that includes 13 facilities and organizations, brought together largely through Annette Strauss’ efforts as mayor from 1987-1991.

The stage house is intended to be environmentally sustainable.   It’s green cladding material, since its run-off is non-bioavailable and clear, and won’t affect other materials. It also has a lifespan of 80 to 100 years.

But mostly, it’s about the light.

“It gives you different colors and shapes at different times of day,” Powell says.

For more on the artist square, go to http://www.artandseek.org/organization.php?id=175

For more on Foster + Partners, go to http://www.fosterandpartners.com/Practice/Default.aspx

For more on Good, Fulton & Farrell, go to http://www.gff.com/

For more on VMZINC, go to  http://www.vmzinc-us.com/

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Mike Welton

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