Flyhouse and UW-Madison find their rhythm at the new Hamel Music CenterOften, the work that Flyhouse does is invisible. Intentionally so. We are all about function, specializing in essential behind-the-scenes rigging, design, safety, and maintenance—everything required for a safe, successful production or event, and everything the audience is never supposed to see. Our contributions to the new University of Wisconsin-Madison Hamel Music Center were anything but invisible.
The new building—featuring a Concert Hall, Recital Hall, Rehearsal Hall—is the perfect harmony of function AND form, designed with unadulterated acoustics, state-of-the-art engineering, and stunning architecture. Flyhouse has been part of the ensemble of experts, coordinating with Strang, Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, JP Cullen, Fisher Dachs Associates, Talaske, and numerous trades, playing together from the first note.
One of the most unique aspects of the new Hamel Music Center is the Flyhouse Automation System. Each room has its own custom control system to move all curtains to one of 12 acoustically-tuned preset positions. For each preset, curtains automatically adjust to the perfect acoustics for the specific performance and style of music—at the touch of a button. Music to our ears!
Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall
Stacking Curtains and Doors: Twenty-two stacking curtains with doors are built into the copper-leafed shelves that surround the room. The curtains are hidden away and closed up until needed. The curtains extend out from the bottom of the shelf and adjust the reverberation and aesthetics of the hall.
Wire tension walkway serves as crew access to lighting positions and rig points in the interior of the room. Flyhouse designed and fabricated the walkway using steel wire woven a walkable mesh. The result is light and airy access entirely functional, acoustically transparent, and almost visually invisible.
Collins Recital Hall
Petals: Eight curved steel and wood structures were designed to reflect sound down, away from the ceiling and toward the audience. Flyhouse built the base structure that was covered and finished by Carley Wood Associates. Flyhouse hung each petal from the ceiling, 40 feet above the stage, as fully functional artistic pieces. The largest of the massive petals is 8 feet wide, 15 feet long, and weighs 800 pounds.
Tiaras: These two rings constructed from woven stainless wire mesh applied to stainless steel framework hang under the petals. They are architectural features that camouflage the exposed lighting battens and, along with the petals, are the featured design elements of the Recital Hall Ceiling.
To install these key pieces and other equipment, Flyhouse installed a floating platform the full size of the ceiling that carried crew and equipment to the ceiling for installation.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hamel Music Center opened to the public this fall.
BY THE NUMBERS:
3 performance spaces in the new venue: Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall, Collins Recital Hall, and Sing Man & Florence Lee/Annette Kaufman Rehearsal Hall
Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall4 Flyhouse custom 2,000 lb capacity winches for lifting curtains
1 Flyhouse custom 1,800 lb capacity winch for projection screen
16 2000 lb capacity rigging strong points
22 stacking curtains with 24 stacking curtain doors
5 wire rope access platforms
4 tracking curtains with 4 custom built tracking curtain doors
Collins Recital Hall24 roller banner curtains
1 Flyhouse custom 3,500 lb capacity winch with full-circle lighting batten
2 Flyhouse custom 1,800 lb capacity winch with half-circle lighting battens
8 Flyhouse custom Petals
2 Flyhouse custom Tiara
8 Flyhouse custom on-stage reflector panels (4 rotating, 4 stationary)
1 Flyhouse custom Piano Barn Door
Sing Man & Florence Lee/Annette Kaufman Rehearsal Hall4 tracking curtains
90 axes total on 3 independent systems—custom designed and programmed by Flyhouse Automation Systems.