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Retractable canopies keep concert-goers protected

Case Studies | June 1, 2019 | By:

A new retractable canopy enables the Merriweather Post Pavilion to host open-air events
on sunny days and provide instant protection from the elements when needed.
Photos: Uni-Systems LLC.

Located in a forest setting between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Md., the Merriweather Post Pavilion is an historic outdoor music venue. Designed by architects Frank Gehry and N. David O’Malley, the venue opened in 1967 and has hosted the greats in rock, country, blues, jazz, hip hop and classical music.

The amphitheater space was in need of an update and was undergoing a renovation when a severe storm damaged its fixed roof. In quick response, Minneapolis, Minn.-based Uni-Systems LLC was on the scene working around the clock to install its En-Fold® retractable canopy. The job was completed in just 22 days, allowing the venue to reopen on schedule in May 2018. 

The 10,560-square-foot canopy system consists of two retractable En-Fold units that were installed using a design-build process. The project called for raising the fixed roof 20 feet to accommodate new loge areas for seating. Each loge canopy consists of two retractable En-Fold units. The canopy units located closest to the stage measure approximately 36 feet by 68 feet and support the fabric canopy beneath four aluminum drive beams. The canopy units farthest from the stage are approximately 24 feet by 88 feet and support the fabric canopy beneath five aluminum drive beams.

The pre-engineered En-Fold system is stadium grade, fully automated and it can safely remain deployed in winds up to 90 miles per hour. For more information, visit

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