With an exterior modeled after the National Theater in London and interior imitating Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the 40,000-square-foot Otto M. Budig Theater is far from commonplace. Mimicking the old-style elegance of those structures required high pours and an architectural concrete surface with a wood-grain pattern and no seams.

The ceiling will be tall enough to allow for multilevel seats and scenery. To allow for balcony seating and large stage sets to be erected and disassembled onsite, the plans required 40-foot walls. Imperial wall panels with a pour rating of 2,025 psf allowed for 16-foot pours to be done quickly and efficiently. The 12-foot-by-8-foot panels reduced the number of required height extensions and seams, an extremely important benefit for both the architects and the contractor because of the architectural concrete requirements.

“The Imperial panels stay truer than other formwork”, says Jamey Arrasmith, a superintendent on the project. “They go together so quickly and easily you can teach anybody how to put them together.”

The theater also required architectural concrete walls on the inside with a wood-like appearance in keeping with the aesthetic of the Globe Theater, built in the 1500s. To achieve this look, form liners were used. These specifications required careful attention in the detailing of the formwork to ensure seams between panels and from pour breaks were hidden and that the form liners lined up perfectly so there were no breaks in the wood-grain pattern. Details such as electrical outlets also needed to be incorporated.

As an added service to assist the contractor with the location of electrical outlets and other placements in compliance with the architectural demands of the concrete, MEVA engineers completed the formwork design in BIM and gave the model to the contractor. This allowed Messer to easily incorporate other elements of the building construction into the design, saving time and effort.