About the Doris Leeper Studio Complex
Nestled on a 69-acre ecological preserve on the edge of pristine Turnbull Bay, the Atlantic Center for the Arts provides a tranquil yet stimulating setting that inspires artists from around the world to rejuvenate, collaborate and create. Envisioned and founded by environmentalist, painter and sculptor Doris Leeper in 1977, the artists-in-residence facility brings talented artists together to work with distinguished masters in the fields of visual, literary, performing and musical arts.
The original buildings, including the Administration Building and Gallery, Whatmore Commons, and Thompson Fieldhouse were built in 1982, and designed by architect Will Miller. Phase One of the $3.1 million Leeper Studio Complex began in September 1994, and included the construction of the black-box theater, the painting and music studios, and the renovation of the Whatmore Commons. Phase Two construction began in March 1996, and included the addition of the dance studio, library and sculpture studio. Keeping true to the rustic Florida Cracker-style, all of the buildings are constructed from stained cedar, with lead-coated copper roofs. Inspired by the site’s dense, jungle-like vegetation, Charles Rose and Maryann Thompson of the Cambridge, Massachusetts firm, Thompson & Rose Architects, designed the Leeper Studio Complex as separate structures connected by a winding boardwalk. Both separated and linked by the boardwalk and the jungle, the studios each afford the necessary privacy and spatial focus for individual creative activity. The boardwalk acts at once as a walkway, theater, and informal gathering area – a space for interdisciplinary discourse and collaboration at the Center. The firm has received numerous awards for the design of the Leeper Studio Complex.
- 1998 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for Design Excellence
- 1997 AIA Honor Award
- 1997 AIA New England Honor Award for Design Excellence
- 1997 ID Magazine Annual Design Review, Design Distinction Award
- 1996 Boston Society of Architects Design Honor Awardx1995 Progressive Architecture Award: Citation
- 1995 American Wood Council Honor Award
- 1993 Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture Award