The Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

The Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion is the result of a studied relationship between building, land and art, and serves as both a threshold and a destination within the 100 Acres Art & Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. An ipe screen lines a steel exoskeleton forming deck, wall and canopy, wrapping programmatic elements. The pavilion is constructed to touch the landscape lightly and allow for the free flow of rain and filtered sunlight through the structure.

Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: 100 Acres Art & Nature Park, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana,
Project Area: 1,290 sqf enclosed, 3,041 sqf deck, 3,582 sqf canopy
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

© Timothy Hursley

The interior space is surrounded by glass on three sides in addition to the skylight ceiling above, allowing visitors to maintain a powerful connection to the natural world around them. The building provides a versatile gathering and education space, restrooms, and emergency services. Carefully sited and in the woods of 100 Acres, the ADA accessible building is accessed by the park’s network of pedestrian Landscape Journeys.


The Visitors Pavilion will be LEED certified, with careful attention paid to environmental sensitivity and energy efficiency throughout design and construction. Water saving fixtures are fed by on-site well water and a geothermal system provides heating and cooling. The Visitors Pavilion and surrounding landforms are carefully designed to inhabit the floodplain environment of 100 Acres, allowing occasional floodwaters to pass around and beneath the structure.

© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, FAIA; Jonathan Boelkins, Chris M. Baribeau, AIA; Gail Shepherd, AIA; Meryati Johari Blackwell, Mark Rukamathu , Matt Griffith, AIA; Mark Wise, Michael Pope, David Tanner, Angela Carpenter, Ignacio Gonzalez, Stephen Reyenga, Bradford Payne
Landscape Architect: The Landscape Studio, Ed Blake; NINebark ,Eric Fulford & Ann Reed
Consulting Engineer: Guy Nordenson & Associates Structural Engineers, L’Acquis Consulting Engineers, Cripe Architects & Engineers
General Contractor: Geupel DeMars Hagerman

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion / Marlon Blackwell Architect" 20 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    Looks a lot like a newer version of the Perry Lakes Pavilion…..and was photographed by Tim as well.

Share your thoughts