Nature Concept in Architecture: Play Park
The Hudson Crossing Park celebrates New York’s Erie Canal heritage and is a recreational space that inspires adults and children to gather and play. The Park and Pavilions exhibit a nature concept in architecture approach.
Glulam Pavilions – A Natural Choice
Originally conceived by Marlene and Alan Bissal to help support a capital campaign for a future Environmental Education Center, the Hudson Crossing Play Park promotes the environmental education of children and families through the park’s programs and also its construction.
All of the materials used are natural, from the earth, and were pieced together to form a labyrinth, a boat-shaped play deck, gardens, paths and pavilions. The pavilions designed by Eric Davenport and Andrew Allison are made of glulam materials: Glulams are conventional 2x lumber, glued together to form beams that result in a timber look and feel without sacrificing old growth forests for true timber materials. Also, glulams give designers the ability to shape them, like in the pavilions pictured below.
Two Pavilions were designed and built: on overlook pavilion (above and below) that evokes a bird-like animistic form. This pavilion serves as a beacon for boats coming up the Hudson and portions of the Erie Canal and marks the Hudson Crossing location. The Park is an important gateway to historic areas of Saratoga.
The Pavilion below, also made of natural materials and glulams, shelters the picnic area and is a place of gathering for groups. The Nature Concept in Architecture approach shows up in this larger pavilion: it’s animistic forms give children the impression of a dinosaur spine, a lumbering tortoise, or a bird’s flapping wings.
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Pavilion designs by Eric Davenport of LEAP Architecture and Andrew Allison of AJA Architecture and Planning, completed while employed by the Phinney Design Group.
Site design by Cardinal Direction Landscape Architecture, LLC
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