Pollinator Pavilion

Pollinator Pavilion with student
The Pollinator Pavilion acts as a gateway to a restored native prairie landscape on the site of the Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka, Kansas. The design of the structure stems from the Kansas state bird, the Western Meadowlark, as well as pollinator species native to Kansas prairies. The incorporation of these elements offers the children visiting the museum a chance to learn about the various flora and fauna that exist within the adjacent prairie through programming at the Center. To withstand prescribed burns of the prairie, the entire structure is composed of galvanized steel with powder coated accents near the cantilevered wing tips. Large cottonwood limestone boulders serve as seating and prairie overlook platforms for children. Located adjacent to the parking lot, the pavilion also serves as a drop-off location for museum visitors.

The pavilion form capitalized on parametric software and digital fabrication tools to prepare steel components. Students developed custom jigs and templates to accurately fabricate and assemble the pavilion, and the pavilion was first assembled at the KU East Hills fabrication shops before being taken for galvanizing. Collaboration with the structural engineers provided an opportunity for students to work with professionals to detail and refine the cantilevered wings. Solar shading simulations were used to optimize the form for seasonal shading to best serve the museum visitors. Over time, the prairie landscape will fill in to surround the pavilion and integrate it into the landscape.
Year: 2022
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Course: Arch 509 Designbuild Studio
Instructor: Keith Van de Riet

Students: Ashlyn Caldwell, Landon Dinkel, Katie Drummond, Cole Erlemeier, Cameron Ernst, Emily Flachs, Tianyi Han, Hanna Hissa, Emme Schatz, Yuchuan Shi, Sophey Shutt, David Tauser

Partner/Client: Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Structural Engineer: McClure Engineering

Sponsors: KBS Constructors Inc, AZZ Galvanizing, HME Inc, House of Rock, Private Donors

Vendors: Foley Rental, A1 Powder and Paint, Kansas Sand and Concrete

Media: “Pollinator Pavilion,” American Galvanizers Association