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Lyric Opera House, Baltimore

Baltimore's Lyric Opera House opened in 1895 as a concert hall with a traditional gable roof. After undergoing a four-phase renovation and major expansion, the opera house now features a 95-foot-tall stage house designed to accommodate full-scale grand opera and today's touring Broadway productions. Also known as a fly tower, the stage house is clad with 20,000 square feet of RHEINZINK America Inc.'s RHEINZINK Horizontal Reveal Panels with a Pre-Weathered Blue Gray. RHEINZINK was also used to clad a "crossover bridge" close to street level that allows actors to move from one side of the stage to the other.

Metal Sales & Service Inc. fabricated and installed the RHEINZINK panels. According to sales representative Steve Scharr: "The greatest challenge was working within existing conditions of a very old building. With a renovation like this, you can't lay out the building in advance. You have to build to fit. But reforming an historic old building into a new structure was really fascinating."

Cladding the crossover bridge slightly above street level required a different product application of the RHEINZINK. "The crossover was clad with custom formed soffits, fascia and column covers," Scharr says. "We love working with zinc. It's really a beautiful material that's easy to fabricate."

"For structural reasons, we needed to keep down the weight of the façade material," according to Jonathan Fishman, principal-in-charge with RCG Architects. "We didn't want to use traditional metal panels. We selected the RHEINZINK for two reasons. First, the owner liked the idea of a durable material that would effectively last forever, at least hundreds of years. Second, we also wanted a natural material, not a painted metal. The color of the RHEINZINK was appealing because we wanted the fly tower to blend into the sky. The gray seems to recede instead of coming forward. And the RHEINZINK works nicely with the brick. The palette is very pleasing."