The pavilion for the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve provides visitors with a space for prospect and refuge. The pavilion sits along a trail at the edge of the tree line, embedded in the slope of a hill on the Northern end of the preserve. Skin and structure are synonymous. The composition employs minimal additive fasteners, and relies on slots, notches, and pegs to accomplish connections between components. Each piece of structure serves as a spacer for its perpendicular counterpart, holding the pavilion in compression. Load is distributed along rails and consolidated into helical piers, which terminate beneath the forest floor. From the threshold, the narrow apertures present in the space for refuge are concealed, only visible at an acute angle. The same openings, formed by deep structural members, permit dappled light to filter in, illuminating the space and frame a view downhill along the path. To the left, the space for prospect opens out onto a waterfall and an uphill path towards the pond. The density of the vertical elements and overhead beams diminishes, dissolving the regulated structure and form back into the forest.
Birmingham, AL, United States
Cottage · Accessory Dwelling Unit
Auburn University · HUD
Directionality is determined by approaches and views. The gradation of density is aided by the uniformity of the materials used to construct the pavilion. The sloping entrance through the embedded volume compresses the approaching visitor, providing a fleeting glimpses of the larger space and forest beyond through the gaps between the verticals. Veering sharply, the sequence releases into the primary volume, confronting the visitor with a choice.
Form is composed of two volumes, one embedded in and one elevated above the slope of the ground plane. Both volumes employ a uniform structural system of evenly spaced vertical and horizontal components, which overlap along a central axis of timbers anchored in the forest floor. Structure for the floor plane is articulated differently in each volume, separating refuge from prospect through change in elevation and relationship to the ground.