Performance at Play wins the Blackshear Schoolyard Stage design competition


Anna Katsios Deere, Michael Deere, and Ingrid Gonzales Featherston, all members of Matt Fajkus Architecture, as well as Robert Featherston of Tim Cuppett Architects, have won the Blackshear Schoolyard Stage design competition. The four teamed up last October to volunteer their time and efforts on a Saturday at the citywide design charrette in conjunction with AIA Austin DesignVoice for the challenge to design a beautiful, safe, functional, and cost-effective schoolyard stage for the Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy. Their “Performance at Play” proposes to go beyond acting as only a stage, but to transform the site into a complete learning landscape and community amenity. The two iterations of the design demonstrate the flexibility of the scheme while promoting involvement and input from the school and neighborhood. The stage itself and the arrangement of walls double as a playscape when not in use for a rehearsal or performance. The design was selected by the 7-person jury as the competition winner, as well as the People’s Choice winner in separate polls of the parents/community and the students themselves.