One hundred and one years after noted architect Howard Van Doren Shaw designed an outdoor garden theater for his wife, Frances – a stunning, contemporary reinterpretation of the Ragdale Ring returns to the artist residency in Lake Forest. In an international competition, New York-based, Harvard-educated Stephen Dietrich Lee’s proposal was selected for its dramatic and visionary design. Lee will be in residence at Ragdale to oversee the Ragdale Ring construction.
“Stephen Lee’s winning design blurs the distinction between art and architecture, creating a dialogue between the two disciplines,” says Zurich Esposito, executive vice president of the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), juror, and a member of Ragdale’s board of directors. “The structure will serve as a gathering place, reinvigorating the historic campus of Ragdale as a place of dynamic artistic and architectural experimentation.”
The design team was awarded a $10,000 production grant to fund the project and a design/build residency of up to six weeks. Construction on the temporary structure will begin May 16, with the public unveiling scheduled for a June 15 benefit at Ragdale. The unveiling will include open-air performances by nationally recognized musicians, dancers, actors, and poets.
The Ragdale Foundation is an internationally recognized, nonprofit, artist residency program that provides time and space for creativity to more than 150 artists, writers, and composers each year. Built in 1897, Ragdale is located on the grounds of Arts and Crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s summer home in Lake Forest. ragdale.org