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SBA was requested to design a temporary roof structure to cover the Paolo Soleri amphiteater in conditions where there might be rain, or too much heat or glare during a daytime event. The design was lead by SBA Architectural Designer Casey Cronin and Suby Bowden, working with California tensile fabric designers.


The design solution was to provide permanent steel cabling and automated hoisting systems (akin to a sailboat raising its sails at a moments notice)  with 7 fabric panels that could be kept gathered and protected -or- raised to provide roof cover only over the stage, or over the entire amphiteater.  All of the roof panels are designed to drain to the center, with water flowing down steel tubing to drains tied into the landscaping system surrounding the theater. 


The structural design was conceived as two different approaches, dependent upon final available construction costs to be raised.


One solution was the steel cabling as shown in the attached renderings, another was a a steel tubing system, that could provide interior guttering and uplighting onto the fabric for the amphiteater below.


Selections of available fabrics continue to increase in sophistication, meeting retraction requirements, as well as wind and fire protection standards, while also providing high tensile strengths, long life spans (due to the high UV conditions in Santa Fe), and a high modulus of elasticity.


The assumption during design was to cost estimate for particular fabrics, but to await final fabric selection until after fundraising had been completed, to assure the most up-to-date fabric selection available for its time.


Copyright 2023 Suby Bowden + Associates

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