Ohio Theatre Orchestra Shell - CAPA
Columbus, OH
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Rogers Krajnak Architects designed the new orchestra shell at the Ohio Theatre for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and CAPA. "Our goal was to provide a shell that would deliver superior acoustics to both musicians and audiences while reflecting the stunning decor of the Ohio Theatre," stated CAPA President and CEO Bill Conner. "The end result far exceeds our expectations in functionality, beauty, and acoustics, and was well worth the time and investment."

Aesthetically, the shell was designed to be in harmony with the opulent interior of the Ohio Theatre. After studying the elaborate three dimensional ornamentation of the 1928 Baroque-style Ohio Theatre, Rogers Krajnak Architects created an abstraction of this ornamentation that was meticulously applied to the shell. Much of the shell's adornment was abstracted from the theater's wainscoating, cast plaster ornamentation, and gilded coves. The gold stars on the forestage reflector, ceiling panels and towers were abstracted from the ceiling of the theater to continue the visual grandeur onto the stage.

The new shell is an interconnected system of movable ceiling panels with ribs and lightweight towers with shelves. Together with the forestage reflector (the eyebrow that extends beyond the proscenium arch), these components provide strategic reflections of sound back to the musicians on stage and into the audience in the hall. The arrangement of the towers and two rows of horizontal acoustical shelves allow the shell to be tuned to best fit the number of musicians on stage and the works being performed.

The project also included the installation of new acoustically transparent grilles in the "tubs," the two highly ornamented niches that flank the proscenium arch. The new decorative grilles improved the natural reinforcement of sound from the stage as well as from the pipe organ chambers behind the grilles.