The Hole Challenge
In Seattle, a high school with an acclaimed performing arts program was looking for a theater to match. Roosevelt High School enlisted Bassetti Architecture to help them build an auditorium that would support student performances with high production value. In this new space, planners sought to create an elegant environment despite the large number of technical equipment that would be present. The challenge was to stylishly conceal the audio and lighting fixtures while preserving function and quality for each act.
The Hole Solution
They found their answers by choosing McNICHOLS® Wire Mesh in a woven, 18 x 18 Mesh with a 0.017" thick (27-1/4 Gauge) wire diameter. The material was fashioned into screens to cover can-lights, catwalks, speakers and other theater equipment. These Wire Mesh specifications were chosen because they maintained the proper light diffusion and sound redistribution to the stage and audience. Speakers and spotlights would still be able to operate at their peak capacity, despite being smartly disguised!
This disguise needed to be just right in order to fit in with some sensational design goals. The vision for the theater was to mimic the school’s original 1920s architecture. For the Wire Mesh, a shimmering bronze color was chosen to add the right level of dramatic flair. The material’s flexible characteristics allowed them to orient the screens in a volute, or scroll-like, shape that played on neoclassical style. These final gilded structures were to line the auditorium's interior and establish an ornate, electrifying ambiance.
Being pliable, lightweight and transparent, the Wire Mesh proved to be easy to shape, mount and suspend during installation. The final design was completed in 2006, and the Mesh screens now enhance acoustics, lighting, safety, comfort and aesthetics throughout the 750-seat auditorium. The state-of-the-art theater now sets the scene for thrilling performances and is enjoyed by actors and audiences alike!