- Project Name
- Mary F. Rounsavall Pavilion
- Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 6,000 sq. feet
- Shared by
- Project Status
The largest structure in the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens in Crestwood, Ky., isn’t a greenhouse, a conservatory, or even a storage barn for mulch. It is the Mary F. Rounsavall Pavilion, a new 6,000-square-foot events space designed by Louisville-based De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop (DPAW). The pavilion sits on a flat site where temporary shelters were set up to host everything from weddings to plant sales, but “I think they were tired of putting up and taking down tents,” laughs Roberto C. de Leon Jr., FAIA.
In spite of a culture where bigger is often better, de Leon and his partner M. Ross Primmer, AIA, were careful to make sure that the new structure did not overwhelm the other buildings on site. The pavilion announces itself to the main plaza with a pleated roofline with peaks that reach as high as 18 feet, 8 inches—just shy of 8 feet above the structure’s lower roof edges. But those pleats smooth out as they extend so that the other three sides of the 60-by-100-foot roof look “like a flat line in the landscape,” de Leon says.
Slender steel-tube columns—6 inches wide at the front of the pavilion and 4 inches wide elsewhere—support a roof that is actually two stacked planes, with the lower one inset, that conceal a wood truss system. “We wanted it to seem like two zero-edge planes,” Primmer says. The ceiling is lined with a running-bond herringbone pattern of stained 2-by-8-foot plywood sheets—a lighter stain inside better reflects light for evening events. Deployable screens make the open-air structure more, if not fully, weatherproof, and a gravel apron around the perimeter helps mitigate runoff.
The pavilion marks DPAW’s sixth project with the botanical gardens since 2005, including renovating a historic barn and adding a small pavilion for events; a master plan analysis; a welcome center; an entry gate; and a greenhouse and horticulture center. For this, the largest of them all, “we wanted a light, whimsical thing that hovers over the site,” Primmer says, “and that has its own visual interest—even when it’s not in use.”
Project: Mary F. Rounsavall Pavilion, Crestwood, Ky.
Client: Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
Design Architect: De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop, Louisville, Ky. . Roberto C. de Leon, Jr., FAIA, M. Ross Primmer, AIA (partners, principals-in-charge); David Mayo, Michael Gastineau, Assoc. AIA (project managers)
Structural Engineer: Bender & Associates
Electrical Engineer: Shrout Tate Wilson
Contractor: Kiel Thomson Co.
Landscape Architect: Environs Inc.; Jones Landscape Architecture
Size: 6,000 square feet (plus 0.5 acre of site development)
Cost: $643,100 (including site development)