Project Details

Fabric 1

Producer/Manufacturer: Chukoh Chemical Industries Ltd.
Primary Use: Main Fabric

Fabric 2

Soltis PVC
Producer/Manufacturer: Serge Ferrari North America Inc.
Primary Use: OTHER

Fabric 3

Clear ETFE (250µm thickness)
Producer/Manufacturer: OTHER
Primary Use: Additional Fabric

Engineer Company 1
Wade Design Engineers

Design Company
Soundforms (Concept Design); Fabritecture (Technical Design)

Architect Company
Tucker Sadler Architects

Fabrication Company

Project Manager Company
Fabritecture (Rady Shell); Gardiner & Theobald Inc. (Client Side)

Installation Company

Please describe the project specifications

The Shell in San Diego Symphony's new bay side venue is the first permanent year-round bay side concert venue in the nation operated by the symphony orchestra. The Shell can accommodate audiences of 3,500 - 8,000 per concert and up to 10,000 for special events. We were engaged for the technical design, fabrication and construction of The Rady Shell structure and other surrounding smaller structures. The Shell itself comprises a rolled steel frame and PTFE cladding. The Shell's frame weights three tonnes.

The stage incorporates state of the art constellation sound system designed and engineered by Meyer Sound. This system provides an exemplary sound environment on stage for the musicians, whilst also providing the technical flexibility required for a variety of other performances. The stage accommodates an orchestra size of up to 150 musicians and choir with a front of stage width of 32m and depth of 20m. The roof cantilevers 15m from the front of the stage and can carry a payload of up to 50T. The overall project includes development of a range of public facilities, including restrooms, fitness facilities & rest areas. Food pavilions and a small stage are also part of the master design plan.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The Rady Shell is one of the most iconic, beautiful, and functional venues ever constructed in the USA. Acoustics are difficult to achieve in a lightweight structure due to the low mass of the fabric cladding. The design of the performance shell structure allows the perfect amount of sound reverberation back to the symphony members so that they can hear each other, and the feel is that of one of the top notch concerts in the world.

The Shell has a unique organic quality due to the use of tensile fabric. You can hear all the different sound balances which allows the orchestra members to perform the way you would in a concert hall, not an outdoor venue. The client was extremely pleased with the end result of the project and the venue enjoyed it's opening performance night at Jacob's Park just recently in August 2021!

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