Forest Park is a large regional park in Queens which has many different structures and activities. It is home to a variety of nature parks and trails, a golf course and tennis courts as well as the Forest Park Theater.
The theater was built in 1920, and serves as a facility for musical and live entertainment within the park. Last year the bandshell hosted over two hundred events, drawing an average crowd of 3,000 spectators. The existing structure contains an exterior stepped concrete stage with a stucco dome which has superb acoustical properties. Fixed seating for about 3,000 people exists among the trees in an idyllic setting.
The scope of the present project is to expand the existing bandshell - the stage areas as well as the support and storage functions. The seating capacity of the facility is to be maximized, without disturbing any existing trees. Additional comfort stations are to be added , as well as a information kiosk & entrances. The entire facility is to be made handicapped accessible in compliance with ADA.
The aim of the proposed design is to create a sense of place for the bandshell. To this end, an entry pavilion is placed at the first visible entry point from the access road. This pavilion houses the information and ticket sales office, as well as restrooms. The trellised loggia hugs an existing berm on the edge of the bandshell and forms a buffer between the seating areas and existing parking lot.
Animal Art is incorporated into the design of various elements such as brackets, handrails etc., as befitting a building set in a park. The animal chosen for this facility are singing birds, in keeping with the musical nature of the facility.
This project was completed in 1996. It went through extensive preliminary design review process with the Park's Department, the Community Board, the Art Commission and the Borough Presidents Office.