The design challenge from the Town of Winter Park was to create a structure that would express the community’s unique character and identity. The undulating form of the roof canopy – clad in a white membrane – vividly emulates the “first tracks” of snow drifts and moguls. The canopy’s organic shape is visible against the ridge immediately behind the stage, reading more as a landform than as a structure. The roof floats above the stage platform and a series of enclosed spaces: the green room, backstage storage and audio support spaces – that are wrapped in stone to visually anchor the structure. The curving spine beams of the roof structure are supported by column clusters, and the double-cantilever roof beams pivot about the spine to create the visually dynamic form. So often, the ceilings over performance stages are driven by rigging and lighting needs, and are at best, utilitarian. The design team, and the client, sought to change that. The wood ceiling adds a warm, tactile underside to the “belly of the beast”. In order to extend the active life of the stage beyond the summer months, the architects took care to incorporate year-round uses into the facility. These include using the steps on the front of the stage as spectator seating for winter sledding and the year-round green room, which provides an enclosed meeting/social space with restrooms for community gatherings.[READ MORE]
The stage, a concrete and stone structure, will rise from a solid, earth-bound base. A large, dynamic canopy emulating “first tracks,” drifts and moguls—consisting of white painted steel, a white membrane roof and wood slat ceiling—will float over the stage as it gently twists and curves skyward over the stage and structures below.
The front of the stage cascades down into the seating bowl to lesson the impact of its sightline required height and provide seating areas facing back into the bowl to activate the stage during the non-festival uses. Because the bowl will be used as a sledding hill during the winter, the front stage seat-steps will provide a place for observers to watch the action and as they enjoy a panoramic view of the ski mountain and continental divide to the south.
A fully heated and cooled Green Room building opens onto a backstage plaza which looks out on Vasquez Creek through oversized operable glass walls. The uniquely shaped structure includes 835 square feet of assembly space, a kitchen, two restrooms, make-up area and mechanical room. Backstage loading and side stage monitor-mixing structures frame the main stage serving as stone-clad anchors for the stage and soaring, undulating roof. A 12-space paved parking area and backstage loading complete the Park’s master plan.