The Acton recreation center is situated on a forty acre site of reclaimed land, two miles north of the historic town center of Acton. The terraced site is surrounded by forests, and its entrance is marked by a man-made beach and pond fed from artesian wells.

The amphitheater is composed of a massive, semi-circular earth berm. The stage area is sheltered by a sloping roof which acoustically reflects sound back towards the seating area. The supporting steel columns house electrical systems and downspouts. The backstage area is defined by a desultory line of wooden fencing.

The bathhouse, located at the south end of the site, serves as a gateway to the landscape, beach, and amphitheater beyond. The bathhouse structure includes an office, concession stand, and an outdoor terrace for dining and viewing.

The shapes of the bathhouse and amphitheater are inflected by the landscape; their floors are embedded with stones from the site itself—which was once an industrial quarry.

The project was completed in 1999.

The project has received the 2001 Boston Society of Architects Design Honor Award.

Photo Credits:

Chuck Choi Architectural Photography