Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

The Winspear Opera House is one of five venues comprising the new Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. Zahner worked on several of them. Zahner was also responsible for the Wyly Theatre, directly across the street from the Winspear Opera House.

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. 

Designing the Canopy

Zahner worked closely with the architect to develop a high-quality engineered surface that is easily installed and provides long-term performance. The Winspear Opera House canopy was designed as a solar shade by the architects at Foster. 

Winspear dallas
Photograph of the Winspear Opera House at night in Dallas, Texas
Winspear 0197  c  tex jernigan
Winspear Opera House & Canopy.

The angles of the massive fins were determined by following the path of the sun. The design intent was to eliminate most of the direct sunlight on the Winspear Opera House and surrounding park, 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.

Winspear 0185  c  tex jernigan
Winspear Opera House canopy system
Winspear 0188  c  tex jernigan
Winspear Opera House and Strauss Square outdoor performance space.
Winspear 0194  c  tex jernigan
The Arts in all their many exciting forms are a bridge between people – Annette Strauss.
Winspear 0195  c  tex jernigan
Detail of the Winspear Opera House aluminum canopy
Winspear 0196  c  tex jernigan
Detail of the Winspear Opera House Canopy
Winspear 0255  c  tex jernigan
Winspear Opera House Canopy Detail

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 0140  c  tex jernigan
Winspear Opera House desk in the atrium
Winspear 0135  c  tex jernigan
Photograph of one of the Winspear desks
Windspear aerial shot
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.