Text description provided by the architects. This project for the Scenic Hudson Land Trust consists of two separate structures in a public park on the Hudson River in Beacon, New York: a new boat pavilion and an arts and environmental education center inside a restored historic barn. The two buildings, standing several hundred feet apart, are integrated within the park designed by Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects. The architecture is on track to achieve LEED gold certification.
The barn is the sole survivor of Beacon’s industrial riverfront. This renovation preserves its simple, elemental structure but transforms its interior into a loft-like art studio. The program includes a new ground floor multipurpose space for lectures and exhibitions, two classrooms on the second floor, and support spaces. An artist’s studio is located in the top floor. The building is wrapped in a new wood deck that provides access to the ground floor and a place for outdoor events. Most existing window openings are preserved, and large glass doors are added to make a new public entry and increase the connection between inside and outside. The existing post-and-beam structure is exposed alongside durable new materials like concrete flooring, concrete block and plywood wall panels. Large sliding panels permit reconfiguration of the interior. New stairs, elevator, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler systems are included to meet code requirements.
While the Education Center is an iconic destination, the boat pavilion is conceived as a threshold in deference to the expansive Hudson River. The roof is a horizontal plane of corrugated steel that parallels a large wood deck from which boats launch. The painted steel structure is economical and sturdy. Secure storage for up to sixty-four kayaks or canoes, a changing room and storage area are enclosed by aluminum bar grating panels. The textures, patterns, orientation and details of the corrugated steel, wood deck and bar grating bring these ordinary elements into an elegant composition.