GH Phipps Raise the Roof at Red Rocks

An acoustically astounding environment surrounded by breathtaking views framed by the ancestral Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks is an unarguably extraordinary venue and presented building project like no other. The GH Phipps Construction Companies team faced a feat in removing the original 1988 canopy by crane, replacing it with a complexly designed roof intended to meet standards of improved safety, functionality, and aesthetic design. Improving an already exceptional entertainment experience for the greatest bands, musicians, and artists in the world demanded top talent in the industry. GH Phipps was honored to be selected to take part in this culturally significant project, a Denver National Historic Landmark, once listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Geological World.

Full stage view

“It hasn’t been lost on our design and construction team that the greatest bands, musicians, and performers around the world want to perform at this famous venue. We just happen to be ‘performing’ as construction specialists,” said GH Phipps project manager.

During the summer of 2020, for the first time in history, the venue sat still – all 9,525 seats, empty. The GH Phipps team worked industriously, installing the new stage roof, designed as a gently sloping plane with a faceted edge to complement the existing curvature of the surrounding rocks. With function following form, safety and performance standards were improved.

SkyDeck™ grid allowed everything to be safely dead hung, including 84 movable spanner beams. Creating a low profile and safe walking surface, EdgePro™ was used to fit snugly to SkyDeck™’s panel edge. A highly visible safety yellow finish was added to the walking surface to mitigate tripping hazards. Surrounding the rigging setup, a set of gas piston assisted hinge panels opening at the center – like double doors – were added to permit large equipment to be moved through the space. To improve walkability, a metal staircase was added to replace the ladder located offstage right center and was anchored to the bottom of the north tower. The existing structure would not have structurally supported the stairs; this solution prevented
disruption to the historical architecture.

In this rare moment in time, our team had the opportunity to give back, improve an iconic stage, a historical landmark. We “raised the roof” at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, uninterrupted.


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