New look and amenities enhance experience for patrons returning to
The Barns at Wolf Trap for diverse and exciting array of performing artists
Vienna, Virginia (November 6, 2018) – Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts welcomes patrons to The Barns at Wolf Trap this season with a number of exciting architectural improvements, including a stunning new lobby and a number of other improvements to aesthetics and amenities. Made possible by a generous gift from Dan and Gayle D’Aniello, The Barns’ renovations are the result of a partnership between Wolf Trap Foundation, architecture, design, and planning firm Gensler, and general contractor L.F. Jennings. The renovations will enhance the overall patron experience with a refreshed look, feel, and flow, while retaining The Barns’ beloved performance space.
The enhancements are the first major modifications to The Barns since they were erected at their current site almost 40 years ago. The most prominent change is a dynamic glass-roofed atrium, designed to allow light into the space during the day and a view of the stars in the evening. All of the upgraded interior areas and modern amenities are infused with The Barns' historic essence, and culminate around the newly enclosed central courtyard. The enclosed atrium expands the lobby area and allows for patron use of the space year-round for pre- and post-performance events and activities.
Early in the renovation planning process, Wolf Trap Foundation and the Gensler design team—with project leads Jordan Goldstein, Carolyn Sponza, and JJ Rivers—recognized the need to highlight the unique identity of The Barns. The Gensler team concentrated on renovating and modernizing the connecting spaces rather than impacting the original and historic architecture of The Barns.
“As longstanding patrons of Wolf Trap, we are particularly excited about this project,” said Goldstein, Regional Managing Principal and Global Director of Design & Delivery at Gensler. “Our design celebrates The Barns and pays homage to the original architecture while enhancing the overall patron experience. The new covered courtyard allows the venue to be used year round with skylights that provide a visual connection to the outdoors—a hallmark of Wolf Trap—and offers views of The Barns to foster a deeper connection to the venue.”
Originally built in the 18th century, The Barns were donated in 1981 by Wolf Trap’s founder Catherine Filene Shouse as a gift for local arts lovers to enjoy diverse performances in an intimate space. Impressed by the acoustic qualities of a wooden barn, Mrs. Shouse hired renowned architect Richard Babcock in 1980 to find and relocate the two barns to Wolf Trap. The larger German barn, built in 1731, and the smaller Scottish barn, built in 1791, were then moved from upstate New York to Virginia and rebuilt on the present site in 1981. Today, The Barns showcase hundreds of artists during the winter/spring season, is the summer home of Wolf Trap Opera, and hosts dozens of special events throughout the year.
“Adding to historic structures is always a delicate art, and we’re thrilled with the manner in which Gensler created a dramatic new contemporary atrium while paying homage to the unique character of our 18th century Barns,” said Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO, Arvind Manocha. “These changes complement Mrs. Shouse’s vision for a casual, intimate setting, while providing significant more pre-theater space for patrons.”
The new design and renovation project, expertly executed by L.F. Jennings, emphasizes a more visible connection between the modern spaces and the two barns. New features include a relocated front entrance, making access to the parking lot closer and easier; a newly located ticket office; massive internal barn doors that define the atrium space; a unique wood slat wall depicting the Wolf Trap logo; and restroom updates. A neutral color palette has been used throughout the design to balance the structure’s contemporary and traditional design elements. Warmer materials, such as wood, harken back to the roots of a traditional barn. Additionally, The Barns exterior has changed from light gray to warm red, which reflects a more familiar barn aesthetic and helps highlight the structure as two distinct Barns.
The Barns at Wolf Trap performance season opened on November 4 with the complete cycle of Beethoven cello sonatas performed by Chamber Music at The Barns Artistic Advisor, pianist Wu Han, with her husband and collaborator cellist David Finckel. The Chamber Music series opening will quickly be followed by The Lone Bellow on November 6 & 7 at 8:00 p.m. The season runs through early May and features a full slate of artists encompassing genres from rock, jazz, blues, to indie, country, and classical. Highlights include Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young (Nov. 8), Americana songstress Nicole Atkins (Nov. 14), Bhangra funk-fusion group Red Baraat (Dec. 1), alternative rock band The Verve Pipe (Jan. 12), D.C.-based band Bumper Jacksons (Jan. 26), Frank Martin’s Le vin herbé with Washington Concert Opera (Feb. 9+10), Habib Koité & Bassekou Kouyate (Mar. 13+14), Omara Portuondo of Buena Vista Social Club (Apr. 23) and many more. For a complete listing of all performances, please visit WolfTrap.org/Barns.
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally and internationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for young opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.
Tickets for The Barns at Wolf Trap
The most up-to-date information on artists, performances and ticket availability may be found on Wolf Trap’s website, WolfTrap.org.
By phone: 1.877.WOLFTRAP
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