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Breckenridge River Walk Center

The Breckenridge Riverwalk Center is an existing two-story steel and wood structure adjacent to the Blue River in Historic Breckenridge Colorado. It has long been the hub for cultural events, civic functions, and entertainment in Breckenridge. It serves as the home of The National Repertory Orchestra, the Breckenridge Music Institute Orchestra, as well as the primary venue for town parties and rock concerts.

The facility contains offices and stage support space, as well as an open stage at the North end of the structure with a slab on grade amphitheater type seating accommodating approximately 780. The original structure incorporated a temporary fabric tent structure over the amphitheater seating during the short summer season that is typical at 10000 feet above sea level.

This project started as a simple 11,000 sf permanent shell structure to replace the fabric tent. We referred to the original no frills design as a camper shell, but the project quickly evolved into a three season heated facility with adjustable acoustic features that gives the Town of Breckenridge the best possible multipurpose facility possible for the cost. The redesign incorporated the existing stage structure, an existing curved steel truss that was the main support for the tent, the amphitheater, and as much of the existing tent foundation as possible. Goals were to extend the operational season, improve the functional aspect of the facility for all user groups.

The footprint of the new structure was somewhat dictated by the existing amphitheater, but was visually expanded to the north with the addition of six large operable overhead glass doors that connect the interior space to the outside environment and concert lawn.

The exterior of the structure was clad with an Energy Star and LEED approved metal roof, painted cement board siding, and a polycarbonate clearstory on three sides and around the roof monitor that provides an even natural daylight throughout the interior space.

Due to the necessity to provide great sound for both amplified and orchestral music the acoustic approach was multifaceted. It started with a new maple and cherry stage surround that projects out towards the audience. The structural roof deck incorporated Tectum panels and was layered with acoustic clouds to enhance the low frequency ranges. The sidewalls have ten cherry acoustic panels, which conceal the ventilation/heat ducts and retractable curtains for tuning the facility for different functions. Additional retractable acoustic curtains were added to the stage area and the back of the amphitheater. Though few if any of the curtains are deployed when one of the orchestras are performing they are critical when tuning the facility for the amplified sound of movies, rock concerts, and the spoken word.

In addition to the improvement above the lighting control system was redesigned allowing greater flexibility for performance lighting, general house lighting, and the future. Given the facility is still evolving as the client realizes the possibilities for the future. HTA designed in the infrastructure for many discussed but non-realized functions for the facility as well as means of accommodating new technologies as they arise.



Honor Award, AIA Colorado West, 2009


Aspen Sojourner, "And the Winner is...," Midsummer 2009

Project Directory

Architect Harry Teague Architects

Structural Engineer KL&A

MEP Engineer  MKK Consulting Engineers

Accoustic/Sound Engineer Charles Salter Assoc.

General Contractor   Hyder Construction, Inc.

Stage/Lighting  The Shalleck Collaborative

Geotechnical   Town of Breckenridge

Estimator Construction Risk Management, Inc.

Code Advanced Consulting Engineers, Inc.


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