Winner: Amherst Downtown BID (Business Improvement District) Band Shell Design Competition
Naomi Darling - Principal
Ray K Mann - Principal (RK Studios)
Ben Rosenberg, P.E. (Silman Engineering – Structural)
Jonah Sacks, Acentech (Acoustic)
This project is a further development and refinement of the 2018 winning competition entry.
This bandshell is for a community that both cherishes its past but has always looked forward to the new and develops the Bandshell on the Amherst Green in the location originally designated by Olmsted in 1874 when initial designs for the Amherst Green were developed.
Origami-folded structures – the back-and-forth pleating of a flat plane—yield excellent structural and acoustical characteristics. Our bandshell takes shape as if from a single folded sheet of paper. Constructed out of engineered timber the warm-toned wood merges seamlessly with 5 finger-like struts that cantilever the shell from the rear, leaving the gently-curved stage of dark grey Ashfield stone open and unobstructed. With input from an acoustic engineer, the Bandshell geometry reflects refinements for acoustic performance.
The shell’s geometry furthermore funnels precipitation into a rainwater garden that becomes a backdrop to the stage. Proposed walkways reflect the spirit of the original Olmstead plan while also providing a paved transition from the street and accessible routes to the stage. Grassy areas are otherwise maximized to retain the informal charm of the common.
The bandshell is sited on the east side of the green, almost directly opposite Sellen St. in a gap between two Amherst College buildings that face the green.