The Chrysalis, a new innovative outdoor performance venue in Columbia, Maryland, celebrated its opening on 22 April 2017.
The 5,000ft2 “Chrysalis” structure shelters a world-class stage beneath a steel and aluminum-shingled shell, forming a captivating collection of complex curves and arched openings to the forest beyond. We provided theatrical and lighting design, as well as structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services for this open-air pavilion.
The Arup team worked closely with parametric artist Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY, building architect Living Design Lab, specialty design-builder A. Zahner Company, steel fabricator and installer Walters Group, and general contractor Whiting-Turner Construction Company. The team was led by Michael McCall of Strategic Leisure, on behalf of the Inner Arbor Trust.
Using 3D modelling, we evaluated the siting of the pavilion to optimise sightlines for the audience. Extensive wind tunnel tests provided critical information for the design of the structure’s galvanised steel frame, which, since it’s exposed to the elements, had to be both beautiful and robust. Acoustic studies explored the impact of sound both within and beyond the building. Tunable LED lighting was designed to animate the structure and emphasise its fluid, organic form.