Cafe in camouflage

Samy Mansour
Thursday 26 Jun 2008

Mark Sierzchula Architect's pavilion in the park, glides out elegantly over the landscape as if growing from the landscape.

On approach from the main entry to the Botanic Gardens, the path seems like a large river with multiple estuaries branching off to form streams through the gardens.

A new stream is formed flowing into a ravine-like river bed, where the first appearance of the pavilion is noticed jutting out of the bamboo cluster.

The leading concrete wall acts as a beacon drawing you in. The existing site materials of pavement and curb begin to twist and morph into this new terrain, forming an indexical relationship to what was and now is. The fused concrete screen element pulls you to its side as the ravine closes, playing a game of hide and reveal, compressing then exploding into the grand space.

The landscape explodes out into a series of escarpments, ravines, steppes and abutments while the roof line takes your eye encouraging you to visually scan the space leading you to the folding form that becomes the stage.

The parallel lines of the stream emphasize the parallax effect, flowing out and around the form encouraging experiential movement, alah “promenade architecturale”. The path links visitors to the neighbouring park or journey's through the fern display, with the final arrival into the lush grassed oasis at the back of stage.

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