Montgomery College Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center Montgomery College Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center / Takoma Park, Maryland, USA

Montgomery College Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center

"I was amazed by Cambridge's ability to install the metal fabric ceiling in tension. I have been in the industry for 20 years, and I've never seen anything like it."
- Adrian Vaughan, Senior Project Manager, Bovis Lend Lease, Inc.
  • Location: Takoma Park, Maryland, USA
  • Year Completed: 2009
  • End Use: Academic, Theater
  • Architect: SmithGroupJJR - Washington, DC
  • General Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease, Inc. - Rockville, MD
  • Installer: Bovis Lend Lease, Inc. - Rockville, MD
  • Owner: Montgomery College


Montgomery College's new Performing Arts Center on its Takoma Park, MD campus is the area's premier venue for the performing arts, hosting professional public performances and events sponsored by community organizations. The center is the newest addition to the Silver Spring Arts and Entertainment District, a sector of the community that the College has ceaselessly supported. The facility contains two performance spaces – a 100-seat theatre used primarily as a classroom space, and a 500-seat state-of-the-art theatre most often used by outside organizations. Inside the 500-seat theatre, Cambridge metal fabric provides a state-of-the-art building element of its own, using polished mesh panels to divide space and to create a flat tensioned ceiling system extending over 50 feet in length.

Uniquely and sophisticatedly framing the theatre's stage and enveloping the house in elegant, clean lines, Cambridge's system matches the look and mission of the Performing Arts Center – to provide a home for the arts in a vibrant and diverse community.


On top of unparalleled aesthetics, Cambridge’s mesh system offers supreme functionality not found in traditional alternatives. In the Performing Arts Center's music and dance theatre, Cambridge developed a first-of-its-kind tensioned ceiling system using architectural mesh. The expertise that Cambridge brought to the project allowed the ceiling panels to stretch over 50 feet in length and remain completely flat – a feat of engineering and craftsmanship that further proves the versatility of metal fabric and the operative know-how of Cambridge. Additionally, the patterns found in mesh ceiling panels allow them to maintain acoustic transparency, improve ventilation and elegantly reflect architectural lighting.

The new ceiling application, in combination with space-dividing vertical mesh panels, makes Cambridge's material the star of the project, giving the theatre supreme, streamlined function and a “wow factor” operationally as well as aesthetically.


Cambridge Architectural’s applications always combine superior aesthetics with high quality performance, often eliminating the need for additional interior materials. In the Performing Arts Center, the sheer durability and lifecycle of architectural mesh greatly reduces maintenance costs, and assures that there will be no need for replacement materials. Cambridge's metal fabric ceiling panels were expertly engineered to fit the ceiling system, ensuring a successful and issue-free installation.

Cambridge Architectural is an active member of the USGBC®, and helps architects take maximum advantage of LEED credit through the many categories in which architectural mesh systems apply.

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