Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pavilion Party

Last Saturday, Martin House volunteers joined over one hundred of their closest friends for the annual all-volunteer party at the Martin House complex. The highlight of the morning was preview tours of the Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion, the Martin House Visitor Center that is rapidly taking shape. MHRC Executive Director Mary Roberts and Museum Planning Project Coordinator Lesley Neufeld led groups of volunteers through the incredible space of the new building, slated for significant completion by the end of the year.

As the building takes shape, certain spatial and material harmonies come to the fore; some are subtle, others more bold. This photo illustrates how the dramatic horizontal sweep of the pavilion's roof line meshes with that of the Martin House porte cochere. A more subtle harmony lies in the separation between the pavilion's slender, stainless steel columns and its glass curtain wall, echoing the many vertical "rifts" in the Wright buildings. Both of these details are examples of the emerging dialogue between the pavilion and the historic complex.

The view of the west side of the Martin House, pergola, conservatory and carriage house from inside the pavilion is nothing short of breathtaking. Mori's deceptively simple building dramatizes the view of the historic complex; the sense of enclosure on the campus feels complete. The Greatbatch Pavilion is a sensitive consort to the historic structures, one that collaborates with the experience conveyed by Wright rather than competing with it.

Photo courtesy of Bernhard Wagner, fotoGraphix.

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