Ragdale Ring Project
Ragdale, the nationally acclaimed artist residency program in Lake Forest, Illinois invited architects and designers to submit proposals for the design, construction and installation of the Ragdale Ring, a temporary structure intended to house a mix of summer performances, events and their audiences. Proposals were submitted by the February 28, 2013 deadline, ranging from traditional to fanciful interpretations of the original Ragdale Ring designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912 as an outdoor garden theatre for plays written by his wife, Frances Shaw. A jury of architects, artists and arts administrators evaluated the proposals and selected one project to realize at full scale on the Ragdale grounds in spring, 2013.
Winning Proposal by
Stephen Dietrich Lee
The winning design, created by architect Stephen Dietrich Lee and associates is both dramatic and functional, based on a repetitive pattern of wooden elements that are stitched together into a flexible daisy-chain. The resulting venue is a dynamic, sculptural, lacework installation ready to house both performance and seating areas on the west lawn behind the Ragdale House.
The Design Team
Stephen Dietrich Lee, the lead designer, has worked in Boston and New York since his graduation from Harvard University with a Master in Architecture in 2005. Currently Project Manager at Sweeney & Conroy, Inc. in New York City, Lee’s work includes design and project management for residences in New York, educational buildings at Columbia University, and museums such as the Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs and the Alice T. Miner Museum in Chazy, N.Y.
- Cuono Engineering PLLC - Ciro Cuono is a professional engineer with over 13 years experience in Structural design of small to medium sized new buildings and large renovations. Mr. Cuono’s various experiences have included designing with reinforced concrete, steel, wood, masonry, and aluminum for residential and commercial buildings, museums and cultural buildings, high end residential and multifamily residential, façade restorations, and historic buildings repairs and restorations. Eric Zagar, employee of Cuono Engineering is also engaged in the project.
- Michael Douglas McAtee, AIA is an architect based in Chicago and graduate of Syracuse University (2001). As project architect with Edward Windhorst James Gorski Architects, he worked on all phases of residential, commercial, dining, and office projects such as Beverly Station and Cork and Kerry Tavern in Chicago and a private residence at Martha’s Vineyard.
- Nat Oppenheimer, PE, LEED AP, is Executive Vice President at Robert Silman Associates, and has extensive experience in the areas of new construction, renovation, sustainable engineering, and historic preservation, and is Principal-in-Charge of much of the firm’s institutional work.
- Russell Davies, P.E. is assisting in the structural analysis.
Zurich Esposito, AIA Chicago; Frank Flury, Illinois Institute of Technology; Judith McBrien, The Archimedia Workshop; Ann Merritt, Ragdale Board of Trustees; Phillip Rosborough, Rosborough Partners, Inc.; David Woodhouse, David Woodhouse Architects; Jeffry Meeuwsen and Regin Igloria.
Original Ragdale Ring