Light-gauge Sub-system Closes the Gap Between Segmented Structure and Smooth Skin


Ellington Theater Addition, The Duke Ellington School of the Arts | Washington DC


Provide framing for an 800-seat egg shaped theater 4-stories tall within the footprint of an 1898 structure with early 1900’s additions. Design and fabricate a kit of parts framing system to set the geometry and be easy to install within the existing building shell.

  • Framing system that was adaptable to overcome structural steel as-built condition.

  • Just-in-time delivery was required due to site constraints.

  • 26-month schedule specified to meet Washington, D.C. Public Schools calendar.


Radius Track developed a 3D model of the highly adjustable light-gauge framing system using the architect’s model, structural scan and construction documents to virtually vet the system and interactions with interfacing trades prior to CNC fabrication. The collaborative process included scheduling of product sequencing for just-in-time delivery and Radius Track job site visits.

  • Pre-curved box beams installed with a highly adjustable outrigger system set the geometry in plan.

  • Box-beam assemblies adapted easily to deliver the geometry even in tight spaces around structural steel.

  • Pre-curved hat-channel attached to box-beams to set the geometry in section.


The Radius Track framing system delivered GEOMETRIC PRECISION to accurately deliver the theater design and was adjustable to accommodate as-built conditions. Additionally, the installation team was up to speed in 2 days due to the scheduled site visit after material delivery.


  • Architect Joint Venture: Cox Graae + Spack Architects and Lance Bailey Associates Inc.     

  • General Contractor: GCS | SIGAL

  • Framing & Finish Contractor: Performance Contracting Inc.

  • Distributor: Allied Building Products - Baltimore

  • Cold-formed Steel Framing System: Radius Track Corporation

  • Cold-formed Steel Engineer: Studio NYL


  • 2018 ENR Mid-Atlantic Best K-12 Education Project / WATCH VIDEO

  • 2018 ENR Mid-Atlantic Project of the Year

  • 2018 CFSEI Design Excellence


“On boarding Radius Track provided a 180-degree direction change on the theater skin scope of work. They started solving challenges right from the start and clearing the fog. Before Radius Track, making the jump from the theater structure to the finished skin was shaping up to be a nightmare.”

– Gabe Oliver, Project Manager, GCS Inc. (General Contractor)