top of page


Sander Architects has been helping the local community of Idyllwild realize one of the key component of their master plan -- an outdoor amphitheater that can serve 400 audiences among the mountains of idyllwild.

A small town in the mountains with a big reputation for music. It has a summer Jazz festival, Jazz in the Pines, that has attracted everyone from James Moody, Pancho Sanchez and Jimmy Cheatham, to the Euphoria Brass Band from New Orleans. The festival is brainchild of local Marshall Hawkins, himself an international jazz bassist who has played with everyone from Miles Davis to vocalist Shirley Horn. The town is also home to a world-class arts boarding school, Idyllwild Arts Academy. At local restaurants, the performers might include a jazz singer, a bass player or a keyboard artist with an international reputation.


Combine this passion for music with the generosity of a local benefactor, David Butterfield, who offered to fund a community center and bandshell for the locals in town.


Finally, take Sander Architects, who have had a relationship with the town of Idyllwild since designing the international award winning concert hall, the William Lowman Concert Hall, and the scene is set for the Idyllwild Community Center Bandshell to come to life.

06-22-19  IAI-959-19 photo#6.jpg

The concept began with the site. It was chosen because it sits surrounded by trees, it feels as if it is deep in the forest despite being steps from the town center, and there is a hillside that creates a natural amphitheatre for audience seating. 


Sander Architects used their trademark hybrid construction technique that uses prefabricated steel frames and combined that with cast-in-place concrete for the stage and surrounds.


The shell itself is a deep brown so that the building has a visual bond with the surrounding woods. The stage itself, however, is framed in a deep burgundy: this is a space for performers, for musicians, for all kinds of presentations and the color celebrates the act of performance.


Bring your own chair, take a seat, enjoy the show.

06-20-19  IAI-959-19 photo#10.jpg
bottom of page