FTL Design Engineering Studio

Project Details

Fabric 1

Producer/Manufacturer: Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics
Primary Use: Main Fabric

Engineer Name 1
Erik Smith

Engineer Company 1
FTL Design Engineering Studio

Design Name
Ashish Soni, Matthew Hilyard

Design Company
FTL Design Engineering Studio

Architect Name
Joe Mingolello

Architect Company
Mingolello & Associates

Fabrication Name

Fabrication Company

Installation Name

Please describe the project specifications

In 2017, the local minor league baseball team the Bridgeport Bluefish left the city to relocate elsewhere leaving the City of Bridgeport CT with an empty facility. A local developer Howard Saffan along with the music industry's leading management team, Live Nation decided to turn the former baseball facility into a covered music amphitheater halfway between Boston and New York City. We were invited to create an 'adaptive reuse' solution for this facility. Looking at four different concepts, we were able to create an enclosure which reused the old bleacher seating and basic 'bones' of the facility to encompass a new enclosure for this uncovered stadium. Our approach was to develop a hybrid structure using a 'tensegrity' mast system with fabric above the orchestra seating and a fabric clad frame system for covering the bleacher seating and interfacing with the existing stadium. A trussed catwalk element unified the two structures providing for lighting, access and a seamless transition. Using finite element analysis, we optimized the two structures which consisted of five elements. Covered seating for 6,000 persons met the requirements for Live Nation and their concert bookings. Dunn was awarded the contract to build and install the tensile structure which started in 2019 and was delayed due to Covid. The first concert was in 2021 and the facility was completed for the 2022 season. The facility includes a new entry element which acts as a beacon to both the Amtrak trains and the I95 corridor both which pass close to the facility. Fabric Structures can be used as an element to create adaptive reuse projects allowing an old disused facility to be reborn as a new premiere concert venue for the East Coast.

What is unique or complex about the project?

This project is completely unique and a roadmap for future membrane fabric projects. It combines both the old and the new on a very large scale; it uses both a tensile fabric roof and a fabric clad frame roof in unison creating a hybrid technology which has the clear spans for performances and the integrated frames for connections to the existing stadium. The PTFE glass fabric makes this a truly permanent new building on the Bridgeport skyline.

Content is submitted by the participant. IFAI is not responsible for the content descriptions of the IAA award winners.