The ‘Chrysalis’ brings 5,000 sf of outdoor performance space to Maryland’s Merriweather Park

The stage is covered with a curving steel and aluminum-shingled shell.

April 25, 2017 |

Left: Rendering of The Chrysalis courtesy of © THEVERYMANY. Right: The Chrysalis, as it nears completion in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods © Arup. 

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods in Columbia, Md., has recently received an outdoor performance venue that may be the most eye-catching aspect of the entire park. The “Chrysalis” is a bright green 5,000-sf performance space that includes a stage under a steel and aluminum-shingled shell.

Designed by MARC FORNES/THEVERYMANY with Living Design Lab as the architect of record, the Chrysalis makes use of a series of complex curves and arched openings to provide sightlines to the forest beyond. Arup, which provided theatrical and lighting design, and structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering services, used 3D modeling to address some of the challenges the project presented.

Arup evaluated the siting of the pavilion to optimize sightlines for the audience. Wind tunnel tests helped to determine the design of the structure’s galvanized steel beyond the building and tunable LED lighting was designed to help animate the structure and emphasize its form. Acoustic studies helped to achieve optimal sound performance inside and outside of the structure.

The Build Team also consisted of specialty design-builder A. Zahner Company; steel fabricator and installer Walters Group; and general contractor Whiting-Turner Construction Company.

The Chrysalis officially opened on April 22.

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