Located in a spacious park located at the center of downtown Columbia, Md., Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods is a tribute to the arts and the environment. Its Chrysalis amphitheater venue is part of a seven-phase park project developed by the nonprofit organization Inner Arbor Trust. The multi-use space officially opened to the public at the 2017 Earth Day celebration, where several local bands performed to kick off the season.

The 5,000-sq-ft structure consists of a main stage accompanied by a smaller side stage. Larger performances have the opportunity to use the full space. The Chrysalis serves as a performance space for the many music festivals hosted in the park and facilitates weekly film evenings in the summer.

Constructing the Chrysalis

A multidisciplinary team collaborated to design and build the Chrysalis. In creating a stage, pavilion and sculpture all in one, the team developed a structure that is both visually pleasing and functional. With nine “legs” coming down to the foundation, the structure has eight asymmetric openings; one is the main stage, and another acts as both a smaller stage and the primary entrance into the Chrysalis.

The structure itself is fabricated of metal beams covered in metal roof panels. The metal roof panels create a shell surrounding the stage. Coated in four custom green shades of the Sherwin-Williams coil coating brand, Valspar’s Fluropon® Solar Reflect (SR) exterior architectural coating, the 8,200 aluminum shingles cover the canopy of the structure from top to bottom. The multi-hued pattern is designed to make the structure look as if it is growing out of the ground.

Coloring It In

The vibrant colors of the Chrysalis were made possible with the Fluropon SR exterior architectural coating. It is formulated with solar-reflective pigments, which reportedly protect the structure from harmful ultraviolet rays, keeping the Chrysalis cool and countering sun damage to the colors. In addition, the 70% polyvinylidene fluoride exterior architectural coating provides the structure with resistance to weathering, chalking, fading, dirt and stains, as well as chemical degradation.

The bold design and overall look of the Chrysalis sets it apart from other amphitheaters, yet does not take away from the beauty of the surrounding environment. Although it is fabricated of industrial materials, the natural appearance of the amphitheater embodies a large living organism that could be a native inhabitant of the Merriweather Park and Symphony Woods’ ecosystem.  ASI

For more information, visit www.valsparcoilextrusion.com.