The Winspear Opera House is one of five venues comprising the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. Zahner worked on several of them. Zahner was also responsible for the Wyly Theatre, directly across the street from the Winspear Opera House.
Zahner produced the canopy which covers the Winspear as well as the Strauss Square and Sammons Park. These two venues offer outdoor performances and projected shows.
Designing the Canopy
Zahner worked closely with the architect to develop a high-quality engineered surface that is easily installed and provides long-term performance. The Winspear Opera House canopy was designed as a solar shade by the architects at Foster.
The angles of the massive fins were determined by following the path of the sun. The design intent was to eliminate most of the direct sunlight on the Winspear Opera House and surrounding park, while increasing the ambient light underneath the canopy. Foster's design creates a cooler microclimate around the building, and the canopy significantly reduces the energy requirements of the Winspear Opera House.
The high-craft aluminum canopy has aircraft-grade connections and is engineered and fabricated with the highest design standards. The photographs show above show the artful design layout of the fins integrating into the canopy framework.