WEBB CHAPEL PARK PAVILION

As part of a program of Design Excellence, the Dallas Department of Parks and Recreation is replacing dozens of decayed, 1960s shelters in metropolitan public parks. In the case of Webb Chapel, the design also called for relocating the structure in order to provide seating and shade to the recreational areas. Sandwiched between a soccer field and toddler playground, the pavilion unites community activities. As a shelter for families, it embraces a passive cooling system that becomes one with the spatial design.

The solution asserts pure geometry to simultaneously achieve bold form and function. A concrete canopy of exaggerated depth enables a simple structure with minimal visible supports to create virtually seamless views of the surrounding site. The result is an impressive cantilever that comfortably sits atop a mere three structural supports.

Inside the pavilion, the heavy shell of concrete opens to reveal four playful, pyramidal voids in the roof. With a whimsical surprise of color, the ceiling’s primary purpose is a natural ventilation system encouraging convection breezes based on the temperature differential between seating embedding in a berm and the hot Texan air above.

The use of poured-in-place concrete as both structure and finish makes the shape both expressive and efficient. Timeless in quality, the bold result embraces the duality between material weight and lightness of form.

The design embraces a passive, natural cooling system that becomes one with the spatial design. In combining a bold, rectangular form on the outside with a series of cone-shaped spaces on the inside; the architecture is both restrained and playful.

Embedded in a grassy berm, the cast-in-place concrete benches provide radiant cooling in the heat of the Texan summer.