Andrew Zago

USA Target Fellow, 2008

Greening of Detroit Pavilion

Along with the park in which it is located, the Greening of Detroit Pavilion serves as a showcase for the Greening of Detroit, a non-profit dedicated to planting trees in Detroit and to raising the public's awareness of the value of trees in cities.  The pavilion, consisting of a translucent volume of closely spaced polycarbonate tubes hovering within three steel frames, is not technically a solid surface, but it performs as one.  The 30-foot tubes do not touch each other; they are suspended from a wire mesh grid by a series of plastic clips.  Each tube is slotted and set at a slight slope, allowing the tubes to collect and deflect rainwater, even in heavy rain.  Owing to their density, the clear tubes also provide shade.

The hovering, translucent volume of the pavilion- reminiscent of clouds and tree canopies- and its slender, poised frames belie their practicality, giving them the appearance of a work of sculpture.  These two components of the pavilion - the frame and the translucent volume - function as gate and terminus and coordinate the various urban conditions that converge at the park's edges.  The upper volume acts as the visual terminus at the end of a rambling, soft-edged city park to the north, while the frame suggests an east-west flow and visually completes the urban wall of Jefferson Avenue to the south.

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