Masonic Amphitheatre

Photographs  Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Situated in the Virginia rail town of Clifton Forge, the project consisted of the complete redevelopment of a post-industrial brownfield into a public park and performance space. The idea driving the design is that the built elements are sculptural forms emerging out of the landscape of the park. The park is a series of extruded lawns and carved paths that knit the surrounding urban fabric into the site’s circulation. Steam-bent white oak walls curve to define secluded pockets offstage and intermediary zones of varying intimacy, allowing performers to slip in and out of audience view. The interior walls and ceiling of the shell are sculpted to naturally project acoustics toward the audience. The backstage area is conceived as a creek-side terrace. The rough-sawn white oak cladding dampens the noise of the rushing creek water, muting it from the stage and audience. Sound and lighting is controlled from a covered booth: an oak wedge, nested at the corner of the seating area. The material pallet anchors the project in its context, while the timeless contours reflect the creativity and aspirations of a forward thinking community.  

STUDENT TEAM Megumi Ezure, Kyle Lee, Leo Naegele, Ian Shelton, Brent Sikora, Sam Stephenson, Taylor Terrill, Tyler Atkins, Lauren Duda, Huy Duong, Derek Ellison, Katie Harpst, Margaret Nelson, Leah Schaffer, Emarie Skelton, Sam Yeh