James Childs Architects
929 Lincolnway East, #200, South Bend, IN 46601
Location: Potawatomi Park, South Bend, Indiana
Date Bid: Apr 2009 Construction Period: May 2009 to Sep
Total Square Feet: 2,860 Site: 1.5 acres. Number of
Building Size: First floor, 2,860; total, 2,860 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 15 to 33’; total, 15 to 33’.
Basic Construction Type: New/Load bearing brick masonry.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, reinforced, slab-on-grade. Exterior
Walls: Brick, CMU. Roof: Metal. Floors: Concrete.
Interior Walls: CMU.
General Contractor: The Robert Henry Corporation - 404 South
Frances Street, South Bend, IN 46617
Acoustical Consultant: Yerges Acoustics - 3125 Whispering Oaks,
Woodridge, IL 60517
Landscape Architect: Foegley Landscaping - 52215 Lilac Road,
South Bend, IN 46628
Potawatomi Park, in the center of South Bend, Indiana, is the most
visited park in the city. The park boasts a large number of amenities,
including a full zoo, tennis courts, a historic Conservatory, picnic
pavilions, an accessible playground, walking paths, and large groves of
oak trees. The park also has a long history of providing free concerts
in the summer at the park’s bandshell.
A partnership was formed, which included the Rotary Club of South Bend,
the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the family of
Christopher H. Wilson. In a true collaborative effort, this partnership
worked to envision and construct a new band shell facility to replace
the existing outdated facility and transform the band shell into a
modern, multi-faceted performing arts venue.
Many of the main charges of the design included correcting deficiencies
of the soon-to-be-demolished outdated facility. The site design
carefully minimized the number of mature hardwood trees which were
displaced by the new structure. The new bandshell faces north, such that
the sun would not blind performers on the stage on summer evenings.
James Childs Architects collaborated with consulting engineer Yerges
Acoustics to create a building geometry designed to naturally amplify
the performances staged in this bandshell. The bandshell is acoustically
well-balanced, has an accessible stage, provides dressing rooms, and is
able to be used as a performance venue for musical groups, dancing, or
theater. The stage is sized to accommodate a 50-piece orchestra. Many
design and electrical features were built in to allow for full staging
of audio and lighting equipment to be provided by outside vendors.
Another driving design factor was to have the new bandshell reference
and reflect the historic architecture of the other park buildings,
especially a nearby historic picnic pavilion, which was built with brick
piers, limestone details, and a red clay tile roof. The Chris Wilson
Pavilion was constructed with load-bearing brick masonry, utilizing an
oversized brick scored vertically, and then grouted to appear as
standard sized brick. Careful architectural details were formed from
fibercement trim and cast stone. The large span of the stage roof is
accomplished with the use of large glue laminated timber beams. The
stage ceiling is lowered, and designed to provide optimal acoustics, as
well as endure exterior weather conditions. Metal roof panels, fastened
to withstand high wind speeds and designed to appear as red clay mission
tile, were chosen to mimic the appearance of the historic clay tile
roof, while allowing for lower costs for materials as well as lowering
any added weight to the building structure.
Now completed, the bandshell serves as a world-class performing arts
venue for a popular outdoor summer concert series and more and has been
extremely well-received by the community.
Interstate Metal Roof: Met-Tile Lighting: Gotham, Progress