Atlanta Amphitheatre Sings

Nov. 28, 2007

Minneapolis -- KKE Architects Inc. has designed the highly anticipated new venue for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), helping to expand the symphony's reach into the northern suburbs and provide a home for up to 35 national concerts annually as well as 15-25 arts-related, family, and free events in Fulton County, in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.

Earlier this year the ASO awarded naming rights to Verizon Wireless, a 12,000-seat, 46-acre site at Encore Park. Ground was broken in June and the venue is scheduled to open in May of 2008.

Image KKE Architects

Minneapolis-based KKE Architects created seating for 7,000 people under a translucent fabric, fan-shaped roof suspended over a steel-framed structural system made up of large box truss girders and columns set 60-feet above the seating area.

Within the covered area are 4,750 fixed, stadium style seats and 46 box suites plus 2,068 removable seats. An additional 5,000 patrons can be seated outside on a lawn area surrounded by two plazas featuring decorative facades and six entry gates. Each plaza has a large food preparation building and seven food and beverage kiosks. Sasaki Associates, landscape architects and master planners, Boston, MA, collaborated on the design of the 46-acre wooded site.

"There's something very elegant and classical about enjoying a concert in the park," said Bill Bethmann, senior associate, KKE Architects. "We wanted everyone to feel as if they were outdoors, even if they're covered from the elements."
Bethmann adds that the Amphitheatre was designed to "handle headliners like Elton John or Jimmy Buffett but also have the potential to do musicals, orchestral performances, and other types of theatrical productions. We designed it so they can accommodate the sorts of events one would normally associate with indoor venues."
The 75-foot-high amphitheatre stage is 118 feet wide by 67 feet deep. Backstage areas include six guest artist dressing rooms, two large group dressing rooms, a green room, orchestra lounge, VIP area, and meet-and-great rooms. Production and tour offices, crew facilities, and storage and service areas also are on-site. Additional amenities throughout the amphitheatre include two two-story restroom buildings and approximately 32 acres dedicated to adjacent parking lots that will hold up to 2,600 vehicles.

The amphitheatre is owned by the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center Inc., one of the largest arts centers in the nation. Upon completion of this project, the ASO, which also performs concerts at the Chastain Park Amphitheater in Atlanta, will become the only U.S. orchestra to simultaneously operate two major amphitheatres. Founded in 1945, ASO is now in its 62nd season and has more than 100 recordings and 26 Grammy Awards to its name.

Located in Alpharetta, Verizon Wireless South Area Headquarters employs 3,000 people statewide and has a history of supporting the community. In 2006, the company donated more than $130,000 to Georgia nonprofit organizations through grants from the Verizon Foundation.

Jeff Mango, president of Georgia/Alabama Region for Verizon Wireless states, "This investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to being a part of the community and aligns Verizon Wireless with what will become the premier destination for musical events in the state."

About KKE Architects, Inc.
KKE Architects Inc. is a full-service firm providing a wide range of architectural, interior design and comprehensive planning services. Founded in 1968, this award-winning company has grown to become one of the Top 50 architectural firms in the country.
With offices in Las Vegas; Minneapolis; and Irvine and Pasadena, CA, KKE's professional staff of 240 offers a unique blend of expertise across a broad range of strategically focused market segments encompassing Housing, Retail, Hospitality and Entertainment, Justice, Education, Healthcare, as well as Industrial and Office Development.
KKE continues to grow through an entrepreneurial spirit and a fundamental focus upon their clients' drivers...understanding their measure of success.
For more information, visit www.kke.com.
About the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Now in its 62nd Season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is considered one of America's leading orchestras, well known for its renowned choruses and for the excellence of its live performances and recordings.  Under the creative partnership of Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles since September 2001, the ASO performs more than 200 concerts each year to a combined audience of more than a half million through a full schedule of performances, including educational and community concerts throughout Atlanta and Georgia. The ASO is one of the few American orchestras with a continuing association with major record label Telarc, which has resulted in more than 100 recordings, garnering 26 Grammy Awards.
The ASO recently was ranked in Pollstar magazine's 2006 Top 100 promoters worldwide (based on annual ticket sales). The ASO's Classic Chastain concerts at Chastain Park Amphitheatre attract audiences of more than 100,000 every summer.    

Heather West, 612-724-8760, [email protected]
Stacy Downs, 612-336-9630, [email protected]

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