Winspear Opera House

Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

Completed in 2009, Zahner worked with the architects at Foster + Partners to develop a canopy system which would allow beneficial light through the courtyard while preventing harsh rays of the sun. The highly technical engineered design of this canopy was developed by Zahner, who worked with directly with the architects to realize their desired form.

The Winspear is one of five venues that comprises the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, and Zahner worked on several of them. Zahner produced the canopy which covers the Winspear as well as the Strauss Square and Sammons Park. These two venues offer outdoor performances and projected shows. Zahner was also responsible for the Wyly Theater across the street from the Winspear, which is designed by REX & OMA.

Photograph of the Winspear Opera House at night

Photograph of the Winspear Opera House at night.

Designing the Canopy

The Winspear's canopy was designed as a solar shade by the architects at Foster. The angles of the massive fins were determined by following the path of the sun, eliminating most of the direct sunlight on the Winspear's facade while increasing the ambient light underneath the canopy. Foster's design creates a cooler microclimate around the building, and the canopy significantly reduces the energy requirements of the Winspear Opera House.

Zahner worked closely with the architect to develop a high-quality engineered surface that is easily installed and provides long-term performance.

Winspear Opera House Canopy Photograph

Winspear Opera House & Canopy.

Winspear Opera House Photograph

Winspear Opera House.

Photograph of Strauss Square outdoor performance space.

Winspear Opera House and Strauss Square outdoor performance space.

Photograph of Annette Strauss Quote

The Arts in all their many exciting forms are a bridge between people – Annette Strauss.

Detail of the Winspear Opera House aluminum canopy

Detail of the Winspear Opera House aluminum canopy.

Winspear Opera House Canopy Details Photograph

Detail of the Winspear Opera House Canopy.

Winspear Opera House Canopy Detail Photograph

Winspear Opera House Canopy Detail Photograph.

The high-craft aluminum canopy has aircraft-grade connections and is engineered and fabricated with the highest design standards. The photographs show above show the artful design layout of the fins integrating into the canopy framework.

Interior Metalwork

In addition to producing the canopy which shades the entire campus of the Winspear, Zahner also engineered and fabricated the entrance desks in the theater's lobby and atrium. These desks are produced using half-inch thick anodized aluminum.

Zahner fabricated three desks for the interior atrium, which serve as ticketing booths and winebars. Each of the desks feature high-quality connections that are completely hidden from plane view. The design is a slight curve which matches the general curvature of the interior layout.

Winspear Opera House Desk with protective film during construction

Winspear Opera House Desk with protective film during construction.

Winspear Opera House Desks Photograph

Winspear Opera House desk in the atrium.

Winspear Opera House Desks Photograph

Photograph of one of the Winspear desks.

Winspear Opera House Aerial Photograph

Winspear Opera House aerial photograph.

The Winspear Opera House is adjacent to the Wyly Theatre in Dallas whose exterior surface was also engineered and produced by Zahner.

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