The calculations of a structural analysis of a stage design is a special challenge for engineers due to their uniqueness. The purpose must be to translate the concrete conceptions and wishes of the artists into reality and not to impose an engineering technical solution, which often does not meet the desired geometry. Here a lot of constructive cooperation and, above all, an enthusiasm of the engineer for the art is required.
The B&W engineers are therefore strongly active in the field of art and culture. We help artists in the constructive implementation of their projects. Whether high sculptures, complex geometries with envelopes made of composite materials such as CFRP or stage constructions – we try everything to make your ideas come true with your artistic requirements. Finally, these projects stand out due to their form and function and not due to the most appropriate implementation from an engineering perspective.
The construction department of the Bavarian State Opera commissioned the B&W engineers in the winter of 2014/15 to design and calculate a staircase for the Strauss opera “Arabella”, turning around its own axis. Major challenges were the absorption of the large torsional forces by the internal frame and the limitation of the large radial deformations during loading and rotation of the staircase – at the same time with an extremely light and slim supporting structure. This could only be achieved by the choice of a sophisticated static system combined with the targeted use of light materials at selected points. A further core element of the structural analysis was to ensure that no lifting forces occur during the rotary movement in the area of the bearing rollers, which would lead to an immediate loss of stability. In addition, the entire construction had to be dismantable and shippable easily, since the stage design will also be used in London.
The opera was a great success, so also the Süddeutsche Zeitung. You can find out more about the performance in the article Andreas Dresens “Arabella” – Celebrated Staging.
This is a collaboration work that the B&W Engineering company is very proud of.