Part of the renewal of Onondaga Lake near Syracuse, New York, the Empower Federal Credit Union Amphitheater – formerly known as St. Joseph Health Amphitheater at Lakeview and Onondoga Lakeview Amphitheater – was designed and constructed in less than one year. The project creates a cultural amenity on a challenging site of capped industrial waste and reconnects the public to a vital natural resource. Our design is rooted in the patron experience of the transition from daylight through twilight and into the evening.
The forms, shaping of views, material, color palette, and lighting are designed to enhance the perception of the ever-changing quality of the flow of light and space in and around the amphitheater. Aesthetically, our design features simple iconic forms, echoing the rooflines and materiality of regional agrarian structures. The amphitheater’s position and orientation maximize natural land contours and lake views while minimizing significant cut and fill. Key details enhance visual and metaphoric connections to the lake, most notably the pavilion fascia, which when backlit parallels the fall of light at dusk on the lake waves. We provided architecture; electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering; audiovisual; life safety & security; information transport; lighting; and theater technical design services.