Reptilian Pavilion

pavilion in foreground with museum behind
The Reptilian Pavilion provides a shade refuge within the exterior playscape at the Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka, KS. The suggestive name is derived from the design process, where students took inspiration from reptiles found in Kansas and beyond. Curved scaly skin was translated into a hyperbolic paraboloid with repurposed aluminum road signs as roof tiles. The roof tiles are arranged to create bands of color – inspired by the camouflage of reptiles – and capitalizing on the reflective qualities of the exposed aluminum undersides of the tiles to blend and transfer colors through the articulated roof. Through hidden word scavenger hunts, children can discover letters, numbers, and words in the cropped street signs, thus creating programming opportunities for the museum with the overhead shade structure. Benches made from compressed paper surround each column cluster and create opportunities for children and adults to rest or play in the shade on hot sunny days. The exposed structure and parabolic form, visible from inside the museum as well, invite curiosity and dialogue from the visitors to the museum.
Year: 2022
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Course: Arch 509 Designbuild Studio
Instructor: Keith Van de Riet

Students: Geraughty Badger, Kendall Belcher, Ethan Eben-Herrera, Jonathan Guzman, Jahnavi Kalani, Celine Khashram, Molly Knake, Hannah Kouri, Alyssa Mckee, Jonathan Moebius, Walter Rundgren, Salomi Saiyed, Ethan Seiler, Jordan Vonderbrink, Robert Zoschke, Lauren Black, Matt Gallentine, Julia Gillman, Jeffrey Mcbee, Eliott Freeman, Ryan Nguyen, Maggie Roux, Ethan Witt, Santiago Patino, Leo Aguilar-Behsman, Justin Fontaine, Jodi Gore, Jack Leff, Jared Lombardi, Ethan Overland, Zach Poelzl, Sarah Preston

Partner/Client: Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Structural Engineer: McClure Engineering

Sponsors: Capitol Federal, KBS Constructors Inc, AZZ Galvanizing, Lawrence Traffic and Transportation, Douglas County Public Works, Richlite

Vendors: Foley Rental, Boyd Metals, Kansas Sand and Concrete, Midway Wholesale, Fastenal, Master’s Media Blasting

Media: “Topeka Children’s Discovery Center,” American Galvanizers Association; “Kansas Children’s Discovery Center’s reptilian pavilion is reminiscent of Capitol Federal’s original downtown building,” The Topeka Capital-Journal; “Discovery Center unveils new roof for Reptilian Pavilion,” Kansas Children’s Discovery Center