Structural Systems
National finalist
Gold Award

Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Project: Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre
Client: Kendall/Heaton Associates

Photo courtesy of MKA
The structural system for the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas includes six perimeter concrete supercolumns, four of which incline asymmetrically.

The 12-story, 80,300-square-foot Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, located in the Dallas Arts District, is a first-of-its-kind vertical theater.

The owner’s program called for a 575-seat theater, but the site was too small. The resident theater group wanted a structure that was flexible and could be uniquely configured for each performance — quickly, easily and with minimal labor. And the outside theater consultant wanted top-of-the-line acoustics, sightlines and more.

The solution was to move the traditional “back of house” to “above house,” and “front of house” to “below house.” MKA’s structural system, a “3-D composite global frame,” creates a 27-foot high, ground-level, transparent “four-sided” performance zone with no structure beneath the building except at the perimeter.

The system uses just six perimeter concrete supercolumns, four of which incline asymmetrically. A three-story-high steel belt truss, augmented by smaller interior trusses, fills out the global frame, minimizing height while supporting a puzzle-piece assemblage of rooms so complex and interlocking that only one floor is contiguous.

The stage, proscenium arch, floor platforms, balcony units, seating wagons, orchestra pit, and even the walls all move — up, down, in, out and around — to create a “building machine.”

Copyright ©2009 Seattle Daily Journal and DJC.COM.
Comments? Questions? Contact us.