Sensory Pavilion

Sensory Pavilion, on approach
The Sensory Garden, nestled into the topography of Mount Oread, is a source of pride for the Audio-Reader Network. The garden is filled with flowers, herbs, and accessories to delight the senses. Plants with interesting textures, such as Lamb's Ear, intermingle with fragrant leaves of mint and lavender. The sounds of wind chimes join the chirping of birds visiting the feeders. Plants are in raised beds, making a hands-on experience easy for pedestrians and wheelchair users. A winding brick pathway leads from the house, past the raised beds, to the gazebo. Alas, their gazebo was falling into disrepair. In its place, the Dirt Works Studio designed the Sensory Pavilion.

The pavilion is comprised of a compacted earth floor; a series of three low rammed earth walls and a nine foot tall rammed earth column; a charred cedar screen wall; built-in cedar benches; and a mass timber screw-laminated charred cedar roof clad in powder-coated steel shingles. All major components of the pavilion interlock into the others - the bench interlocks with the rammed earth and cedar screen walls and the screen walls interlock with the mass timber roof structure above. As one enters the pavilion - the gravel crunching underfoot - the smell of the charred wood and rammed earth fills the air, the temperature and texture of the earthen elements contrast with the wooden ones, dappled shadow along the feathered edge gives way to deeper shadows as the canopy tilts down toward the rear edge of the garden. The rear screen admits light and mediates views from the garden, while diagonal steel rods introduce another rhythm while tying the roof back to the ground to resist the garden-side cantilever.
Year: 2016
Location: Lawrence, Kansas
Course: Arch 509 Designbuild Studio
Instructor: Chad Kraus (Dirt Works Studio)

Students: Anna Collins, Kelli Dillion, Nick Faust, Patrick Griffin, Tanner Hyland, Alexa Kaczor, Joseph Kaftan, Stephen McEnery, Caitlin McKaughan, Jeshua Monarres, Jarad  Mundil, Dillon Park, Spencer Reed, Shummer Roddick, McKenzie Samp, Mitchell Starrs, Elayna Svigos, Hannah Underwood, Jeremy Weiland

Partner/Client: Audio Reader Network

Structural Engineer: Apex Engineers

Vendors: Hamm Quarry, Monarch Cement Company, HMC Performance Coatings, Diamond Everly, Prosoco, Seibel Fabrication, Wood Haven

Awards: WA Awards, World Architecture Community; Architect’s Newspaper Best of Design; ArchDaily’s Best Student Design-Build Worldwide; 

Media: "Explore the Sensory Pavilion Designed by KU Students" <video>; "Dirt Works Studio: The Movie" <video>; "The Best Student Design-Build Projects Worldwide 2016", Arch Daily; "2016 Best of Design Award for Student Work: Sensory Pavilion by Dirt Works Studio, University of Kansas", The Architect's Newspaper; "Sensory Pavilion", Live Projects Network