A pavilion is an open public structure with an intentionally ambiguous program. This pavilion, located on S. Main St. in Providence, is a connection point between pedestrians crossing the river walking toward Wickenden St. or people walking from the Point St. bridge to S. Main St. Additionally, the pavilion is a space that can be used for community events, farmers markets, or simply for protection from sun, rain, or snow.

I was tasked with extrapolating the pavilion from a Bruno Munari diagram, “Eight Queens,” in which eight points are arranged on a chessboard such that they do not fall in a line – horizontally, vertically, or diagonally with each other. The diagram was a useful tool to create structure and sight lines.

I began by placing the diagram on my given site, and skewing it to fit perfectly in an acute-angled corner.

Next, I extruded the points into columns that soar to different heights. This allows shading devices, added later to intersect with one another in plan.

In section below, it is apparent that cables are run from the tops of columns to suspend the shading devices. This allows clearer sight lines through the pavilion, defining it as a light and airy structure that covers an outdoor area, rather than a monolithic indoor one. The pavilion takes up about 30 percent of the site, so that the rest of it can be used for outdoor gathering space and walkways.

In plan below, the pavilion can be seen as a connection point between the pedestrian bridge over the river and the streets of Providence’s east side. The remainder of the site is an open public park that capitalizes on its central location.

Architectural Design, RISD. Spring 2019.
Revised December 2019.

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