for the

City of Marion
Marion, IA
3 acres
Completion date
June 2013

Celebrating the art of nature and performance, RDG's design team developed an amphitheater that emulates its surroundings while both creating art and being a place for art. 

The stage is nestled into the surrounding topography while the canopy rises above the stage, creating a unique and intimate place to perform. The dynamic cantilever, anchored in bedrock over 30 feet deep, extends over 60 feet in length, reaching out to create a powerful perspective for the audience. Located directly north of the Art and Environmental Center, the amphitheater serves both small and large events. The design team included artists, landscape architects and lighting designers, each of whom brought a unique perspective to the project. The amphitheater is patterned after a series of oak leaves, and is a one-of-a-kind facility in the state of Iowa. The  sculptural canopy represents a contemporary expression of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, recalling period Tiffany ornamentation and Dirk Van Erp copper lamps. Made of over 60 tons of Corten weathering steel, the amphitheater also incorporates state-of-the-art LED lighting, native limestone and Italian mosaic glass tile. The tile frieze that wraps the stage depicts a “prairie fire” of complimentary color and texture. 

Stage and tile detail
Spotlight on Outstanding Design + Art Professionals
2015 Collaboration of Design + Art Worx (CODAworx)