I have been researching Amphitheatres at work lately and have found some really interesting examples. I admire the simplicity of the form, and how it can be applied at a number of scales and is one of the most efficient ways of seating many people. Though the technical aspects of the amphitheatre has not changed since Ancient Greek and Roman times, architects have played around with the forms, settings and materials to create fantastic spaces to enjoy music or performance.
Of all of these, there is one that I have uncovered that I find captivating. The Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located in Red Rocks Park, in Denver, Colorado is absolutely spectacular. Nestled between two enormous rock formations (Ship Rock and Creation Rock) that are taller than Niagra Falls, the amphitheatre can seat almost 10, 000 people.
I can’t imagine how breathtaking it must be to experience a concert there, with the two rocks providing perfect natural acoustics. I would imagine it evokes primeval feelings, being so close to animal and plant life fossilized for more than 250 million years. In fact contained in these two walls there are numerous dinosaur tracks, and the fossil of a 40-ft sea serpent!
For me I like the fact that the setting is so spectacular, and the architecture of both the seats and stage compliment the giant red rocks. The seats appear like the striations in the sandstone, and the stage is thin and skeletal to minimize its presence.