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Home » Archives » January 2009 » AIA Award To Orcas

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01/27/2009: "AIA Award To Orcas"

ig_OI_Stage_On_Green-1 (55k image)

The Stage On The Green looked like the photo above when the slab was being poured, but once it was up and ready for use, it won an award as the People’s Choice winner in the “Built” Category of the 2008 Awards for Washington Architecture. Click below for the photo and full story:

ig_OI_Stage_On_Green-2 (56k image)

San Juan County Parks and Recreation Director Dona Wuthnow describes the landmark stage as “a partnership project designed and developed through community consensus.” It was funded through a combination of County Facilities Program funds, a state Building for the Arts grant and “a lot of in-kind contributions from craftspeople, contractors, designers plus cash contributions from the community.”

The project will be featured on AIA, Seattle website beginning next month and in a gallery exhibition put together by the organization.

“Originally we had planned on putting up a serviceable structure that we could afford,” she said. “Then a dedicated group of Orcas designers, craftspeople and activists came to us with the resources, energy, creativity and determination to build a stage that could become a part of the community’s identity.” The County Park Board and Orcas Open Arts put a lot of trust in the group’s commitment to the project in going ahead with the partnership and that trust paid off. The project was completed in the summer of 2006.

The AIA competition entry, put together by David Kau and Fred Klein of Orcas, describes the project as, “The product of a yearlong collaboration -- among architects, artists, engineers, builders, school teachers, dancers, and craftspeople -- to design and build a public performance stage for our village green. Our design was conceived as pre-emptive challenge to the County Parks Department, which was on the verge of purchasing a pre-fab gluelam pavilion, found on the internet and about to be trucked and barged from Illinois. We proposed a locally inspired counterpoint -- to be designed locally, and constructed from materials sourced locally. An ambitious grassroots plan hatched by activists committed to a process of consensus.”

Credits for the project reflect that process.

Design Team credits:
(in alphabetical order) Jim Biddick, bookkeeper; Libby Blackwell, activist; Marta Branch, teacher; Phil Branch, industrial designer; Kaj Enderlein, sawyer; Tim Forbes, craftsman; Chuck Greening, artist and project construction manager; Jorgen Harle, blacksmith; David Kau, architect; Robert Kikuchi-Yngoji, storyteller; Fred Klein, architect and facilitator; Matthew Maher, timber framer; Bruce Myers, sculptor; Mark Padbury, teacher and cabinetmaker; Gulliver Rankin, contractor; River Rorabaugh, wood carver; Dave Russillo, structural engineer; Leslie Seaman, events producer; Errol Speed, craftsman; Bill Trogdon, architect; Nancy Wang, dancer; Craig Wier, activist Tim White, craftsman.

Consultant credits:
Eric Youngren, Solar Consultant; Hadj Design, Greenroof Consultant; Orcas Open Arts
Contractor credits:
The list of community members who contributed to the construction of this project is extensive and perhaps too numerous to mention here. It includes four different excavating companies, concrete artisans, building materials suppliers, sawyers, carpentry from four different contractors, roofers working with roofing suppliers, skylight manufacturers and installers, metal workers, stone workers, painters, and electricians. Volunteer assistance came from a wide range of sources as well, from teachers to students, from longtime residents to visiting camp counselors.

A slideshow of images of the Stage on the Green is available on the AIA-Seattle website at:

Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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