The centerpiece of the 3.7-acre public Jacobs Park developed and managed by the San Diego Symphony on the city’s scenic Embarcadero, The Rady Shell is the first permanent outdoor venue in the San Diego Symphony’s century-long history, designed to host more than 100 concerts and events year-round. The project has been developed in partnership with the Unified Port of San Diego with 96% of the $85 million cost raised privately by the Symphony.
As innovative in design as it is spectacular in setting, offering 360 degrees of year-round music, sky and sea, The Rady Shell is an unprecedented resource for the Symphony’s expanded schedule of diverse outdoor concerts programmed in part by Music Director Rafael Payare, including an exciting roster of commissioned works and premieres, as well as performances by international touring artists and free programs, and available year-round for non-profit community groups, schools and individuals. Jacobs Park, owned and managed by the Symphony, will surround this venue with walkways, dining pavilions and recreational facilities in the heart of the Embarcadero and will be accessible to the public for free on most days of the year.
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park is designed by San Diego firm Tucker Sadler Architects, led by CEO and Design Principal Greg Mueller, with performance shell design by London-based Soundforms. Working with Tucker Sadler Architects, Soundforms expanded their award-winning 2012 mobile acoustic performance shell (MAPS) to accommodate a large orchestra with chorus and soloists and to be a permanent structure on the Embarcadero Marina Park South site. The performance shell features concentric, widening, oval rings as its canopy, a structure that reaches a height of 57 feet and a width of 92 feet at the front of the stage. A key partner in the creation of the performance shell is Australia- based Fabritecture, which developed and oversaw the technical design, fabrication, and installation of the tensile structure and the backstage support spaces. The gentle slopes and terraced, flexible seating of the 55,000- square-foot audience area are defined around their edges by a low-lying fence, buffered by plantings and a perimeter walkway, on the coast of San Diego Bay within the 3.7-acre Jacobs Park.