The pavilion is an outdoor classroom and component of the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Sculpture Park. The structure is wrapped in varying widths of horizontal, perforated metal bands, which offer experiences that change with the seasons, the light, and the vantage point of the viewer The pavilion’s metallic “skin” reflects its natural surroundings by taking on the colors of the grass and sky or, at times, completely disappearing into a moire pattern of light and shadow.
The Tonic 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 space while creating a composition of changing light and shadow. Finally, metal is a recycled content material and could one day be recycled and reused.
The pavilion’s construction system is a kit of parts. As a result, Tonic Construction could prefabricate as many components as possible in the shop and then assemble them in the field, much like Tinkertoys®. This system minimized field construction and maximized efficiency and accuracy. The project was completed within three months of site work.