Fisher Center

Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

A performance center nestled amongst the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts is the latest addition to the Bard College campus. The performance center was completed in 2003, designed by Frank Gehry Partners and was managed by Daniel O'Connell Sons .

The Bard College was finished a year after Weatherhead at Case Western, and a year prior to the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago. All three were built using Zahner engineering-design, fabrication, and installation.

Sunset lights the Angel Hair® Surface of the Fisher Center at Bard College

Photograph of the setting sun on the Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

The Richard B. Fisher Center Performing Arts Center at Bard College

The Richard B. Fisher Center Performing Arts Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Detail of the Northeast side of the Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard CollegePhotograph of the western entrance to the Fisher Center at Bard College

 

Photographs of the Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photograph of Fisher Center at Bard College Entrance Road

Photograph of Fisher Center at Bard College Entrance Road.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photograph of the western entrance to the Fisher Center at Bard CollegeDetail of the metal panels at Fisher Center Bard College

 

Photograph of the western entrance to the Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Creating the Surface of Fisher Center

The entire profiled surface of each structure was clad with 16 Gauge Angel Hair® Stainless steel. The stainless steel skins were lapped and fastened using a custom-engineered counter-sunk fastener. The Angel Hair® surface is unlike any other surface in its ability to create muted tones, ambiently reflecting its surroundings.

Detail of the Angel Hair® Stainless Steel and structural steel for Fisher Center

Detail of the Angel Hair® Stainless Steel and structural steel for Fisher Center.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Detail of the Angel Hair® Stainless Steel surface on the Fisher Center at Bard College

Detail of the Angel Hair® Stainless Steel surface on the Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Detail of the Angel Hair® Stainless Steel surface on the Fisher Center at Bard College

Detail of the Angel Hair® Stainless Steel surface on the Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Drawing of the panel layout and expansion joints for Fisher Center at Bard College

Drawing of the panel layout and expansion joints for Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

The metal panel system was designed so that each of the panel types had a designated install location. Expansion joints were drawn in as part of the design.

Designing, Fabricating, and Installing with ZEPPS® Technology

Working in CATIA and Pro-Engineer and utilizing Gehry Partners master model, Zahner developed a workable surface using the ZEPPS® Technology to form the walls and roof of this dynamic set of structures.

Using the dual-curving panels made possible by ZEPPS® eliminates several construction steps because it requires no additional supports or finishing due to its exclusively structural aluminum components. Over 3,200 stainless sheets were installed on top of 710 unique ZEPPS® Assemblies — each panel interlocks with the next to form the dynamic but uniform surface of the roof and sides.

Using the ZEPPS® Technology allowed the entire EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems) wall and glazing to be embedded in the dual curving forms. This provided options for the interior wall surfaces of the building to closely mirror the exterior of the building. Along with EIFS walls and glazing, Zahner's system formed the entire roof, wall and much of the building envelope for the performing arts center.

The panels consist of a high strength aluminum frame structure profiled to form the shape desired by the architect. Per the architect's request, the interior side of the panel was left uncovered to expose the intricate framing members.

Fabricating the Fisher Center stainless steel and aluminum panels at A. Zahner Company in Kansas City

Fabricating the Fisher Center stainless steel and aluminum panels at A. Zahner Company in Kansas City.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

The design team views a panel mockup at A. Zahner Company in Kansas CityMake huge silver crumpled buildings, not war — student sign at Fisher Center during construction

 

History of Fisher Center: The Design Team looks at the dual curvature metal panel system at A. Zahner Company Headquarters | Bard College student sign "Make huge silver crumpled buildings, not war."
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

A. Zahner Company field crew install the panels at Bard College

A. Zahner Company field crew install the panels at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Photo of the south entrance of the Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College

Photo of the south entrance of the Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Construction photo of the south entrance of the Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College

Construction photo of the south entrance of the Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

Interior and exterior of Fisher Center, viewed through the massive glazing system on the front entrance

Interior and exterior of Fisher Center, viewed through the massive glazing system on the front entrance.
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

North view of the Fisher Center employee entrance and bicycyle racksVisitors walk along the southside lawn towards the Fisher Center main entrance

 

Photographs of the Fisher Center building and landscape."
Photo © A. Zahner Co.

The Bard College canopy is the first design by Frank Gehry Partners to leave the ZEPPS® understructure exposed, a decision made to celebrate the complex construction that goes into buildings.

The engineers at Zahner and the architects at Gehry's office enjoy a dynamic working relationship that continues to evolve and push the boundaries of what is possible to design and build. Learn more about how Gehry's team works with Zahner to build complex buildings.

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