Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre

Situated in the arts district of downtown Dallas, the critically acclaimed Wyly Theatre was designed by REX Architecture and Rem Koolhaas OMA. Heralded as one of the most intelligently conceived performance centers in the world, the Wyly is designed to accommodate traditional and experimental performances of music, dance, and cinema in a uniquely rigged space that rapidly transforms to meet various performance requirements.

Such a unique interior space called for a similarly unique exterior. Zahner provided the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of the extruded anodized aluminum facade. 

Detail of the perforated aluminum lighting system for Wyly Theatre.
Detail of the perforated aluminum lighting system for Wyly Theatre.
Wyly Theatre by REX Architecture & Rem Koolhaus OMA
Wyly Theatre by REX Architecture & Rem Koolhaus OMA
Wyly Theatre by REX Architecture & Rem Koolhaus OMA
Wyly Theatre by REX Architecture & Rem Koolhaus OMA
Wyly Theatre at dusk with lit signage.
Wyly Theatre at dusk with lit signage.
Aluminum mockup for Wyly Theatre.
Aluminum mockup for Wyly Theatre.

Designing the Facade for Wyly Theatre

The architects contracted Zahner in a Design Assist process to develop a solution for the building façade. The process enables both the design and fabrication teams to solidify a clear design concept, increasing efficiencies before moving to the fabrication phase.

The concept for the Wyly façade began with an idea that, through design iteration and charrette, culminated in taking the idea one step further. The result is an extruded aluminum façade that emulates the billowing fabric of a closed curtain. Perforations in key areas allow for elegant lighting of the building’s signage.

As part of the Design Assist process, a mockup is produced to further aid in downstream planning. The mockup serves a critical function in each project, often revealing previously unknown insights and methodologies for efficient fabrication and installation.