Sensory Pavilion

sp10 sp4 sp2Sensory Pavilion, Kansas (USA) 2016

University of Kansas

The Sensory Garden is a source of pride for the Audio-Reader Network. Nestled into the garden, the Dirt Works Studio designed and built the Sensory Pavilion. 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.

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.

Client: Audio-Reader Network

Tutor: Chad Kraus, part of Dirt Works Studio at University of Kansas

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, John Schwarz, Mitchell Starrs, Elayna Svigos, Hannah Underwood, Jeremy Weiland

Research Question: The project, the fifth in the series, continues to explore the theme of rammed earth construction. Mass timber construction also played an important role in this project. Ultimately, though, the focus of the project was on the relationship of architecture and sensory perception.

Link: Dirt Works Studio


Kansas, Kansas Univ., Curricular, Months, 11-50, Client-funded, Permanent, Commissioned, Students with tutor, Undergraduate, Architecture