Engineering a Bandshell for the Madison Capitol

Engineering a Bandshell for the Madison Capitol

For 6 consecutive Wednesdays during this past summer, a Madison tradition continued with Concerts on the Square.  During this annual event, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performed at the Madison capitol where attendees enjoyed music, as well as food from local vendors. The series needed a temporary theater structure specifically, a bandshell. The structure needed to be easily assembled and disassembled daily. It was composed of aluminum custom built shapes supporting audio equipment and contained a square stage and sail-like roof.

The initial design was created by ModTruss, a Fond du Lac based building component supplier who received a request to build the bandshell from a provider of audio and visual equipment. Modeling and design services were required for the structural members and connections for the project. J3 provided engineering calculations to set up and disassemble the structure as well as engineering for components. In addition, J3 coordinated with ModTruss to determine the required materials needed to properly engineer the structure.

The bandshell needed to remain lightweight for transportation and set-up, yet be heavy enough to resist uplift from wind. It could not be attached to the ground due to the temporary placement on the grounds of the capitol building. To resolve this, J3 engineered counterweights that would attach to the corners of the structure. To fit in with the theme of the structure, the counterweights were made to look like audio speakers.

For more information on Concerts on the Square:

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