Tonic Design's art shelter provides more than just a place to escape the weather
Designed and built specifically as an integral component of the North Carolina Museum of Art Park’s ‘art-in-service’ projects program, ‘Art as Shelter’ offers visitors a sheltered place to sit and reflect upon the museum sculpture park and public greenway.
The pavilion can be viewed as an object in the landscape or experienced from within, located on a bluff overlooking a 300 acre sculpture park, the pavilion offers magnificent veiled panoramic views across the lush, rolling landscape, sculptures, trail and the adjacent prairie.
Large interior clear spans promote the use as an open-air classroom, a beautiful indoor/outdoor setting for teaching about art and nature. Docent-led student groups utilise the space as a studio; where folding tables, folding stools, and art-making materials are stored in frosted-acrylic clad boxes that double as benches and nighttime illumination.
The pavilion, an object in the landscape, is wrapped in varying widths of perforated metal horizontal bands, which offers experiences that change with the seasons, light and vantage point of the viewer. The metallic “skin” of the pavilion reflects its natural surroundings by taking on the colors of the grass and sky, or at times completely disappearing into a moiré pattern of light and shadow that shimmer and shift as visitors follow the greenway path around the pavilion.
The design team selected metal, both steel and aluminum, for three primary reasons. Structurally, steel allows the building to resist lateral forces through the use of moment connections, thus avoiding cross bracing, and keeping the interior space as visually open as possible. Secondly, the perforated metallic “skin,” reflective, opaque and transparent, allows breezes to flow through the building while creating a composition of changing light and shadow. Finally, metal is a recycled content material and could one day be reused and recycled.