San Diego – The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
July 14, 2021
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Performance Shell designed by Soundforms & Partners 

Its an amazing, spectacular outdoor venue. We can hear each other wonderfully and you feel like you are in one of the top-notch concert halls in the world. The Shell has a mind-blowing organic quality….you actually can hear all the (different sound) balances and perform the way you would in a concert hall, not an outdoor venue. 

Maestro Rafael Payare, Music Director and Conductor of the San Diego Symphony 

A gift to the tidelands and the entire San Diego region. First and foremost, we want to create a venue with superb acoustics that will be stunning, a postcard for San Diego. 

Martha Gilmer, CEO of the San Diego Symphony 

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, which opens on 6th August with an open-air concert by the San Diego Symphony under its conductor Maestro Rafael Payare, is a unique collaboration between several leading international design and construction experts.

Soundforms and its London partners, Flanagan Lawrence (architects), ES Global (staging) and Expedition (engineers) are the designers of the Performance Shell, the centre-piece of the San Diego Symphony’s spectacular new bayside venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, inside which the San Diego Symphony and other world-class international artists will perform. 

The performance shell is an upscaled, customised, permanent version of the award-winning Soundforms Mobile Acoustic Performance Shell (MAPS) from the London Olympics, expanded to accommodate the full San Diego Symphony Orchestra, a chorus and soloists. The San Diego Symphony was introduced to Soundforms by the award winning international classical music management agency Harrison Parrott. 

Soundforms and its London partners have worked closely with Tucker Sadler Architects, lead designer and architect of record of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, which has led a team of designers and consultants in the creation of this state-of-the-art venue. 

Greg Mueller, CEO and Design Principal of Tucker Sadler Architects, has been involved with the project from its very conception 18 years ago, and has resulted in The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, which includes the performance shell, backstage artist support space, three professional kitchens, underground restrooms, a gracefully sloped seating area for up to 10,000 and a park open to the public on one of the most beautiful settings between San Diego Bay and the San Diego skyline. 

Working with Sound Consultant Shawn Murphy, the design was further enhanced with San Francisco based Salter, a firm dedicated to acoustic and sound engineering and audiovisual, who designed the acoustic panels that are both reflective and absorptive and lie within the inner and outer shell. 

Berkeley-based Meyer Sound designed their unique Constellation System in its first outdoor installation which effectively creates an onstage acoustic that is equivalent to excellent indoor concert halls. This partnership has created a unique performance shell with an emphasis on creating the best possible acoustic experience for performers which will be translated to an extraordinary sonic experience for audiences across a wide range of musical genres. 

Another key partner in the creation of the performance shell is Australian based Fabritecture, who developed and oversaw the technical design, fabrication and installation of the tensile structure and the backstage support spaces, executive kitchen, and three related buildings on site including the box office and two dining pavilions. 

Lead Architect and Architect of Record: Tucker Sadler
Soundforms Design Architect: Flanagan Lawrence
Soundforms Design Partners: ES Global and Expedition.
Technical Design, Fabrication and Installation: Fabritecture
Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald
Structural Engineer: Coffman Engineers
Acousticians: Charles M Salter
Sound Consultant: Shaun Murphy
Constellation Sound System Design: Meyer Sound
Theatre Consultant: Schuler Shook
Landscape Architect: Burton Studios