Aurora RiverEdge Pavilion is a major functional element of a far reaching Master Plan for a proposed “central” park located along the banks of the Fox River north of Downtown Aurora, Illinois. RiverEdge Park will include an outdoor performance venue that will be a regional attraction for numerous cultural civic events as well as popular musical acts on tour. This 7,500 spectator capacity performance venue occupies an underutilized river bank site on the east side of the Fox River directly adjacent to a major regional transportation center. The venue highlights include a feature performance stage with canopy cover as well as a guest services building containing public washrooms, a food and beverage concession, and a covered outdoor roof-dining terrace with a commanding view of the stage.
Designed with unique architecture employing warm, inviting materials and a high-quality directional outdoor surround sound system that will equal those of other Midwest venues, the performance pavilion establishes a cohesive environment that embraces and connects the venue to the neighborhoods flanking the Fox River much like a musician on stage connects with his/her adoring, loudly cheering fans.
A light, sprawling steel canopy covering the stage projects toward the spectator area and mimics a similar steel canopy projecting out toward the river over the concession/roof terrace building. Meanwhile, all buildings are dressed in a beautifully natural linear cedar slat cladding which provides an acoustical shell for optimum sound delivery and helps the pavilion seamlessly materialize in its natural river edge environment. The performance pavilion will seem to grow out of the land.
Along with the addition of the performance space and supporting buildings, much of the site, including Blues Island, will be restored to a natural state providing a unique wildlife habitat. Additional landscaped planting areas intertwined with raised planters and a generous amount of permeable paving will help mitigate any additional rainwater runoff. An acoustical sound wall opposite the river edge averts the majority of the performance sound from dispersing and flooding the nearby city center neighborhoods and serves as a perfect cornerstone of the Fox River Gateway, containing and re-energizing an urban community with under-estimated potential for sprawling economic growth and urban vitality.