ARUP and gunnstock finalize tiara bandshell at tippet rise
ARUP and gunnstock finalize tiara bandshell at tippet rise ARUP and gunnstock finalize tiara bandshell at tippet rise
mar 31, 2015

ARUP and gunnstock finalize tiara bandshell at tippet rise

nestled in the landscape of rural montana, where panoramic views of the beartooth mountains stretch as far as the eye can see, is the tippet rise ‘tiara’. the bandshell was completed as a collaboration between ARUP, gunnstock timber framers, firetower engineers, and non-profit tippet rise. set within an 11,000-acre site which features pristine rolling hills, jagged box canyons, and dramatic mesa landscape ‘tiara’ is the first to come of many planned buildings that will follow throughout 2015. tippet rise will be home to programs, performances and venues with a backdrop seamlessly moving between art and nature.

‘tiara’ exists as part of the 11,000 acre tippet rise arts area
all images © willem boning



unlike conventional bandshells, ‘tiara’ elevates sound-reflecting surfaces above musicians and listeners. in doing so, designers–alban bassuet & willem boning–were able to rid the stage of a typical opaque, sound-projecting enclosure, and instead open views of the distant mountain vistas. the form’s shape was generated using a genetic algorithm–with custom-design acoustic analysis software–to provide efficient acoustics from front, sides, and back ensuring an equal, radiant audio return.

from behind



made to accommodate audiences ranging anywhere from 50 to 200, the shell was designed modularly and can be expanded by erecting additional timber stanchions and panels. aside from their sound reflecting ability, the panels laterally stiffen the structure to aid in resistance to strong winds that frequent the open expanse. all components are bolted together, allowing for easy disassembly for storage, or relocation to other sites across tippet rise’s 11,000-acre territory.

detail of stanchions

visitors wait for show to begin at the bandshell

‘tiara’ amidst montana’s night sky

study model

acoustic reflection diagram

exploded stanchion
image courtesy of gunnstock timber framers

roof plan

section through side stanchion

section through stage stanchion



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    491,185 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample