Garden Pavilion

Garden Pavilion in Portland, Oregon by RIGGA

Reminiscent of Michael Cadwell's small buildings, this small garden pavilion in Portland, Oregon, designed by the firm RIGGA, of the same northwest city, presents itself in varying configurations through the use of folding doors and fixed panels at its perimeter. A sloping roof/canopy rests on slender columns which meet the concrete base; the columns acting as fulcrums about which the doors move. Although a relatively simple and undistinguished structure, the pavilion has a strong relationship to its natural environment through materials and changing levels of openness.

The plan at left illustrates the incorporation of sliding and folding doors, sometimes both within one door. With the columns located at the centers of the trapezoidal sides, it is at the corners where the pavilion opens to the yard. This simple arrangement of doors about the columns provides for a greater degree of flexibility in opening the interior/bringing in the exterior than fixed corners would accommodate. It is corners, more than walls themselves, that provide the greatest sense of enclosure.

The floating roof also helps to further the sense of openness and an inside/outside ambiguity; the gap between horizontal and vertical planes extending the spaces through implication. Without this roof/canopy the pavilion is merely a pad with screens, not a room. But this room is not a typical room; it is malleable, able to change at the whim of the occupant. In a way it is architecture as expression of a person's mood, definitely something ambiguous.