DTC provided landscape architectural, civil and structural engineering services in conjunction with Perkins Will Architecture to facilitate an addition to the existing Greenwich High School. The addition houses a new state of the art performing arts theater for school and community use. As part of the project the existing theater space was converted into other school program areas.
DTC’s structural group designed several unique features to help realize the architect’s and client’s vision.
To start, it was important to create a column free auditorium to maintain views of the stage. To this end, deep trusses spanning almost 90 feet were used to support the roof and catwalk. In addition, the mezzanine and balcony were both designed as cantilevers as they appear to float out over the main seating floor to provide additional seating without hindering audience views.
Behind the stage, an intricate use of pile caps, grade beams, and foundation walls were used to house the pneumatic orchestra pit and create hidden access paths for the orchestra musicians and maintenance workers.
Also behind the stage, beams and girders which support the roof were coordinated with the location and layout of lights and pulleys to provide a state of the art rigging system.
Throughout the design process care was taken to not affect the existing portion of Greenwich High School. This was accomplished through the use of expansion joints and firewalls. In the existing auditorium, which was repurposed into a practice area for the band and orchestra, trusses were again used to support the roof to avoid the need of adding columns. To the south of this space, an additional area was built which has been designed to support the weight and logistics of a green roof.
The green roof will help reduce rainwater runoff and provide insulation all the while adding to the building’s LEED status.