The historic Lyric Opera House in Baltimore was originally constructed in 1895 as a concert hall with a traditional gable roof. Now, after a four-phase renovation and major expansion, The Lyric has become the city’s premier venue for opera and traveling Broadway shows. Playing a role in that transformation was RHEINZINK titanium-zinc cladding.
The most obvious element of the renovation is the addition of a 95’-tall stage house designed to accommodate full-scale grand opera and today’s touring Broadway productions. The stage house (also known as a fly tower) is dramatically clad with approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of RHEINZINK Horizontal Reveal Panels finished with Pre-weathered Blue Gray. RHEINZINK was also used to clad a “crossover bridge” close to street level that allows actors to move from one side of the stage to the other.
Architectural design for the project was provided by RCG Architects, Baltimore. “For structural reasons, we needed to keep down the weight of the façade material,” according to Jonathan Fishman, RCG’s principal-in-charge. “We didn’t want to use traditional metal panels. We selected the RHEINZINK for two reasons. First, the owner liked the idea of a durable material that would effectively last forever—at least hundreds of years. Second, we also wanted a natural material, not a painted metal. The color of the RHEINZINK was appealing because we wanted the fly tower to blend into the sky. The gray seems to recede instead of coming forward. And the RHEINZINK works nicely with the brick. The palette is very pleasing.”
Fabrication and installation of the RHEINZINK was done by Metal Sales & Service, Inc., Kennett Square, PA. According to sales representative Steve Scharr, “The greatest challenge was working within existing conditions of a very old building. With a renovation like this, you can’t lay out the building in advance. You have to build to fit. But reforming an historic old building into a new structure was really fascinating.”
Cladding the crossover bridge slightly above street level required a different product application of the RHEINZINK. “The crossover was clad with custom formed soffits, fascia and column covers,” Scharr said. “We love working with zinc. It’s really a beautiful material that’s easy to fabricate.”
The RHEINZINK distributor on the project was MetalTech—USA, Peachtree City, GA.
RHEINZINK America, Inc. led the introduction of zinc as an important architectural material in North America and continues to provide comprehensive technical support to architects and contractors. Environmentally friendly and 100% recyclable, RHEINZINK presents a distinctive appearance with outstanding longevity.
The last photo shows the project before this renovation.