Prairie Ridge Garden Pavillion
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Completion Date: 2001
Project Team: Frank Harmon, David Cole, Will Lambeth
The garden at the N.C. Museum of Natural Science’s Prairie Ridge Eco-station for Wildlife & Learning (http://naturalsciences.org/prairie-ridge-ecostation) needed an enclosed area to protect the native vegetation and to keep deer at bay, while maintaining an inviting presence to the public. The concept of a protected gateway/pavilion developed as a way to welcome the public to Prairie Ridge, provide a refuge from the sun during warm months of the year, and serve as a graceful transition from prairie to garden.
Our Design Response
Protection is a recurring theme throughout this small but significant example of green architecture. The pavilion’s slender footprint protects the prairie environment by disturbing the earth as little as possible. The generous roof protects views of both prairie and garden while providing ample shade and cover. And the vegetated roof helps to collect rainwater for the garden, protecting and conserving the natural water supply. The “green,” or vegetated, roof is also a research tool for similar roofing on future buildings planned for Prairie Ridge. As the Prairie Ridge project continues to mature, the Pavilion & Garden will serve as a demonstration and educational platform through which the public will gain a better understanding of the use of native vegetation.