The Ann Arbor-based architectural collaborative T+E+A+M won the 2017 Adrian Smith Prize for the fifth annual Ragdale Ring competition, hosted by the esteemed Ragdale artists' residency in Lake Forest, Illinois with support from Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. T+E+A+M's winning design “LIVING PICTURE” is a contemporary interpretation of the original Ragdale Ring garden theater originally designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912.
The members of T+E+A+M — Thom Moran, Ellie Abrons, Adam Fure, and Meredith Miller — will receive a $15,000 production grant to fund their project as well as studio space, and room and board for up to 10 individuals for 18 days. They'll build the temporary outdoor theater during their residency from May 22 through June 9. During the summer season, concerts, performances, and other public events will be held at the theater.
The Ragdale Foundation shared more details about the winning design below.
"We are thrilled to receive the Adrian Smith Prize for the 2017 Ragdale Ring. In its short history, this competition has produced an exciting series of experimental projects, and we’re honored to join the ranks of past winners,” T+E+A+M said. “We look forward to our residency, meeting the other fellows, and watching our project come to life through public programming.”
Historical elements from the original Ragdale Ring appear on lightweight objects stacked and spread throughout the grounds. Blending a historic scene with its contemporary counterpart, LIVING PICTURE recreates Shaw’s 1912 garden stage design as digital imagery nestled among the trees and buildings of the Ragdale grounds. The effect is a vivid visual space where images and objects overlap, align, and misregister. Members of the audience become performers as they weave between the scenic objects and sit on platforms at their base. A taller grouping of objects draws attention toward the stage where the historic imagery merges with the natural surrounding.
LIVING PICTURE makes a scene.
LIVING PICTURE is designed for the convergence of three key approaches—from the Ragdale House, from the parking lot, and from the Barn House. Visitors traveling along each path encounter a view of the historic Ragdale Ring, reconstructed as digital imagery overlaid onto large stacked objects. The clearest image of the original Ring appears when one approaches from the House, creating a connection between Ragdale’s past and its current visitors. This unified picture breaks down as one enters the seating area and perceives the images spread across multiple objects. This layered imagery expands the boundary of the proscenium, drawing audience members into the space of performance.
The overall arrangement of objects creates an open space for audience members to gather. Seven clusters along the edge of the clearing provide shaded seating areas with cushioned platforms. Cones and cylinders to the sides form wings where performers can enter from offstage. All the objects except the platforms are hollow, allowing for storage of blankets and equipment that can be accessed from behind the stage.
"T+E+A+M's proposal stood out because it honors the legacy of the original Ragdale Ring by integrating it directly into a contemporary exploration of image, space, and performance,” says Molly Hunker and Greg Corso of SPORTS, who won the 2016 Ragdale Ring competition.
"The scale and flexibility of the solution is a wonderful fit for the dynamic character of Ragdale's population. The absence of formal audience/performer hierarchical space and the compelling layering of historic site context and contemporary abstract imagining leaves an incredibly generous and rich space for creating and experiencing new work. The solution expresses an inherently collaborative spirit that recalls the unifying and celebratory intentions of the original Ring," commented Anna Arellanes Wirth of von Weise Associates.
More about LIVING PICTURE here.
- Greg Corso, SPORTS
- Zurich Esposito, AIA Chicago
- Molly Hunker, SPORTS
- Regin Igloria, Ragdale Foundation
- Jeffrey Meeuwsen, Ragdale Foundation
- Phillip Rosborough, Rosborough Partners, Inc.
- Adrian Smith, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
- Anna Arellanes Wirth, von Weise Associates
Comment as :