Insulated Metal Panels Are Working Behind The Scenes In Seattle's Opera Center

IMPs become the breakout star in this unique addition to the Seattle performing art scene


  • The $60 million facility encompasses 105,000 square feet across four stories
  • Some of the goals for Seattle Opera were to create an environment for world-class artistry and invite visitors to explore the city’s cultural home
  • Metal panels serve as the building’s primary weather barrier and exterior insulation



The challenge that the designers hoped to overcome was creating a building that not only could house professional artists but could be a welcoming space to those not familiar with opera. Opera is one of the most complex art forms, so executives wanted the building to invite the public behind the scenes.


The space needed to become more efficient and inspiring than the last headquarters to lead to more interaction with both fans and people who don’t know anything about opera.



Much of the exterior was created with glass, allowing people walking by to get a glimpse of what’s going on in the costume shop, performances and lectures in progress, and other working parts of the building. The front façade also features a series of scrims that can be illuminated, creating a light show for patrons.


This design is really a way to help the general public see the opera in the making. Visitors can also attend lunchtime recitals and stroll down garden walkways.



Behind it all is Kingspan’s KarrierPanel, an exterior envelope cladding system that serves as the building’s primary weather barrier and exterior insulation. KarrierRail provides a secure support that transmits positive loads from different facades to the structural supports behind the insulated panels.

KarrierPanel helps create a high-performance building envelope that combines superior 
R-values with low thermal bridging and airtightness. The panels have an R-value of 7.2 per inch ASTM C518 @ 75°F for standard PIR, and 8 per inch ASTM C518 @ 75°F when equipped with Kingspan’s QuadCore Technology, the company’s newest and highest-performing metal panel insulation.


“Seattle Opera will continue to break down barriers that have previously kept people from being able to participate in opera.”

- Aidan Lang

Seattle Opera General Director



Seattle, WA



Seattle Opera Center



Lease Crutcher Lewis



Kingspan Insulated Panels



44,000 Sq. Ft.




©2023 Metal Construction Association. All Rights Reserved.