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SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2014

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Fishers Island, New York, United States 
Friday 28 Jan 2011
 
Box within a box 
 
Scott Frances 
 
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Garden pavilion for Fishers Island residence doubles as home for private artworks 


Caught in a private spread of manicured foliage on Fishers Island, New York stands a delicately transparent pavilion. Its light-filtering trellis - a horizontal tracery of slender aluminum rods extending the roof plane - aligns with the canopy of trees before it. Architecture of subtlety, this quasi-weightless structure is carefully planted between two existing wooded plains.

The pavilion's interior floor plane - fully visible through the glassy, Miesian shell - continues outward, its surface of ebonised bamboo transformed into an exterior plinth of Indian black granite. The entry axis penetrates the pavilion's simple 4,600 sq ft volume, notching into its far side and emerging as a long, shallow reflecting pool.

A perimeter path lines the structure's transparent shell. Freestanding in parallel alignment, the interior walls never meet the enclosure. Instead, they form a virtual box within a box, an implied inner volume.

A one-bedroom retreat for a former museum director and his wife, this crystal pavilion is also home to a plethora of 20th century paintings, sculptures, and glassware. The artwork always figures into view out, even if only peripherally. Conversely, from the gardens, this colourful indoor collection projects a presence outdoors.

An arcing swath of vibrant yellow sedum in the garden resonates with the golden footbridge in a Chinese screen inside; a mossy rock garden projects into the pavilion's simple volume, while the bedroom nestles into a private apse of garden vegetation.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Thomas Phifer and Partners
www.tphifer.com

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