Ragdale Ring Design Competition, with Sasha Topolnytska (Studio Excultura)
Lake Forest, Illinois
Stone Hedge is a proposal for the 2018 Ragdale Ring which reinterprets the rural stone wall as spatial framework for performance and assembly. Architect Howard Van Doren Shaw’s vision of a bucolic English landscape was the inspiration of the original Ragdale Ring. In such landscapes, low stone walls meander across farmlands and rolling grassy hills, demarcating grazing and planting areas. In Stone Hedge the stone wall becomes a unified “hedge”-like element, bounding together spaces for performance, audience, and gathering. Inspired by the original Ragdale geometry these
spaces are circular voids bound within the continuous round hedge – “rings within the ring”.
Stone Hedge is constructed as a patchwork of conventional gabion baskets, elements commonly used in various landscape applications. These baskets are filled with donated post-use stone and concrete rubble. In doing so, the installation adaptively reuses the rural stone wall typology as well as surplus waste materials to form a compelling venue for Ragdale’s Summer 2018 event series. Stone Hedge encourages a variety of uses and assemblies, inviting large group audiences as well as small, intimate gatherings. As both earthwork and furniture, Stone Hedge responds to and playfully interacts with the local prairie landscape as well as the community of patrons, artists, and performers who will utilize it throughout the summer.