Avitecture Case Study: Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the nation’s only national park for the performing arts, is a majestic natural setting, in suburban Washington, DC, for over 100 performances across all genres every summer. Home to the architecturally stunning Filene Center, the 117-acre Park offers dining and hospitality amenities throughout the summer season and year-round recreational opportunities, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and sledding.
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts is the official partner to the National Park Service in providing concert and performance programming within the Park. As a nonprofit organization, Wolf Trap Foundation is dedicated to creating excellent performing arts experiences for the enrichment, education, and enjoyment of diverse audiences.
For the summer 2018 season, The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts engaged Avitecture to enhance their existing audiovisual design with modern, accessible technology that would showcase the brilliance of an artist’s performance. A new control room was essential because the Filene Center, Wolf Trap’s grand wooden amphitheater, lacked a control room or any other way to coordinate the AV system.
Avitecture designed a fully functional space to access and control their new equipment. A two-person control room to coordinate the main camera operation was built to Avitecture’s specifications for the new systems.
One person can control up to ten cameras using a Panasonic camera controller; the Production Director can control a Panasonic switcher and can select the images that would broadcast on several large LED screens located above the stage for the audience.
All control of the cameras and video switching occurs one level below the stage. With the canteen area enclosed, a countertop work surface was added, into which all camera video and control feeds were routed. Fiber optic connections were used for long-distance runs. The same camera shots that are shared on the large displays also give system operators many viewpoints, both in the house and behind the curtain, to assist in coordination. Two wall monitors are located within the room; both receive multi-view images from Panasonic switching equipment.Though some events require only the built-in system, Wolf Trap wanted flexibility to accommodate other set-ups as well. Some shows bring their own production equipment; occasionally more cameras are required. Avitecture designed the system so that the installed cameras can be routed to temporary head end equipment. A large empty conduit was run from the stage to the production room for temporary cabling as various needs arise. The routing system can also accommodate additional cameras to be connected to the installed head end.
After thorough testing and commissioning with Wolf Trap’s production crew members, Avitecture’s system went into immediate use to enhance the visitor experience during the 2018 summer season and was well received. The new installations have enhanced the viewing experience of hundreds of thousands of visitors.