University of Iowa

Boone County Amphitheater Engineering & Design

As part of the Senior Design Capstone Course, Civil & Environmental Engineering students provided design alternatives for a "natural" amphitheater in Boone County's Don Williams Park, featuring materials native to Iowa, a functional stage and structure, trail connections, evaluation of flood events, and related cost estimates.

The natural amphitheater was designed and set in campground C of the Don Williams Recreation Area. The design incorporates the sloping topography of the location and uses native Iowan materials, such as natural stones and oak wood. The amphitheater stage is open with little to zero shade to provide natural lighting to the persons performing on stage. It is to be built off the ground and showcases an overhang that invites persons to come watch. It includes a backdrop built as a concrete wall and wrapped with natural stones. The overhang uses Iowa’s native materials and blends in with the trees in the background. The seating is placed within the earth and allows for lawn to be grown in-between the tiers of seats. The seating uses concrete as a retaining wall for the earth and provides natural seating for visitors. A concrete slab was included in front of the seating to serve as a platform for accessible seating. Accessible parking spaces were also added in our project site in order to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act specifications.