Bandshell 36′ – Frank Stella

Bandshell 36' - Frank Stella


This is a computer generated picture of a full size “Bandshell”  36’ x 48” sq. This is big and was going to be installed in Miami, the land of the hurricane. All works of Art have to be engineered to local building codes of the installation site, Miami gets some heavy air, and wind is the big load factor. Up north snow can be a big load factor.

We all decided on aluminum, because two of the legs of support are tapering to a point and therefore tiny in section, for the load that will be applied. Even so, a lot of the metal was 2” thick which is actually hard to weld with full penetration, so we were still concerned. Metal was also good for final installation and assembly of all the individual sections with welding, no joints, all solid.

We had to divide the sphere of rib bands into truckable entities, nineteen (19) in all, in the computer. Then we had to create new planes of reference for each section and bring those sections down to the floor, rotating them so the plane of reference was a horizontal plane, useful to men. Then we could setup section frames at altitude, angle and direction and cut, weld and fabricate conveniently. We had made about nine aluminum sections, big, heavy and welded, when Frank’s buyer pulled out. He eventually found a new buyer, but it required a new fabricator, which turned out to be in France.

The next stage was to send it all there and to transfer the technology of section breakup, and computer manipulation. I have lost track of it, but look forward to that day when someone assembles it and it appears in magazines or the press.