Construction photos courtesy of Joseph J. Albanese
Interior image courtesy of Ennead Architects, Aislinn Wiedele
Stanford Bing Concert Hall
Location: Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Concrete Contractor: Joseph J. Albanese, Inc.
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Structural Engineer: Degenkolb Engineers
Architect: Ennead Architects
Stanford’s Bing Concert Hall, which opened on January 11, 2013, has won numerous awards for its distinct design. The hall’s unique ovoid form evolved from discussions with acoustician Yasu Toyota. One of the key objectives was to accommodate unamplified musical performances. To achieve that goal, Ennead Architects designed a tilted oval ceiling canopy suspended 47 feet above the centrally located stage, creating a lower reverberation and richer, fuller sound. In addition, concrete “sails,” with their convex shapes dispersing the sound, enable the audience to hear sounds coming from more than one direction.
Central Concrete supplied 7,500 cubic yards of concrete for the project, and the low-CO2 mixes selected reduced the overall carbon footprint for the construction project by just over one million pounds.
“Central was honored to supply our low-CO2 concrete for this landmark project and to work with such a strong team of technical designers and contractors,” said Jeff Davis, vice president and general manager, Central Concrete. “Audience members will be impressed by the remarkable use of concrete in the Bing Concert Hall, in particular the stationary concrete walls that look like billowing sails.”
“Due to the Stanford Bing Concert Hall’s architecture and acoustic requirements, concrete was the only solution for its main structural features,” said Stephen T. Coates, P.E. Turner Construction Company. “The aggressive schedule and sophisticated architecture required impeccable quality control. Joseph J. Albanese, Inc. and Central Concrete rose to the challenge at every step of the way.”
Stanford Bing Concert Hall’s elliptical shell shape, along with its intricate secondary structural system that supports the sails and cloud acoustical panels, presented one-of-a-kind challenges for concrete contractor Joseph J. Albanese, Inc. To create the 12-inch thick concrete hall enclosure, with its round radius, Joseph J. Albanese, Inc. developed a single-sided curved forming system with a PVC clip screed rail using a process called wet-mix shotcrete. This process allowed the concrete contractor to meet the tight 1/8 inch in 10 feet tolerance. In fact, scans of the project revealed that the building was within ½ inch of location off GPS.
“Designers and builders, often marvel at the project’s complexity and ask, ‘how did they do that?’,” said Chris Zynda, shotcrete manager, Joseph J. Albanese, Inc. “We addressed the difficult requirements with a team effort, led by our superintendent and foreman. Our forming and shotcrete crews — including finishers, laborers, and ACI-certified nozzlemen — each brought high degrees of qualifications and experience when constructing the Bing Concert Hall.”
Emphasizing further the importance that Joseph J. Albanese, Inc. placed on teamwork throughout the difficult build, CEO and President John Albanese, stated, “I’m proud of the way our team rose to the challenge presented by the Bing Concert Hall and confronted it head on. That mentality has been the foundation of our company’s success for more than 58 years.”