Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation / Jill Perelman Pavilion-1442 Carmel, IN

Project Category : Public Recreation

Total Construction Cost : $5.7 Million (including building and site)

Total Gross Square Feet : 8,000 SF

Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : NA

How was the facility funded? : Government funds

Project Description:

1) Functional Planning

The Carmel Clay Parks & Recreations Jill Perelman Pavilion resulted from a community-wide design charrette that re-envisioned West Park into a nature responsive solution that integrated multiple recreation nature-based activities. The Jill Perelman Pavilions functional planning is elemental, incorporating large flexible multi-purpose rooms that support a multitude of programs including camps and group recreational activities surrounding nature. The planning omits the traditional control aspect of a recreation facility promoting technology for access to the building, allowing the facility to run with limited staff. Interior and exterior spaces are treated as Learning Classrooms that allow for social interaction. The building placement and viewsheds were planned in conjunction with the surrounding site.

2) Interior Design

The intrinsic design and planning were organized around a customer service approach, community gathering and flexibility. The large lobby allows for easy access to the adjacent divisible meeting room, and a gathering and queuing space needed for day camp programs.

The materials selected for the interior finishes are warm, inviting, durable and easily maintained. For additional durability and visual continuity of outside in, exterior materials are used as primary materials in the meeting room and lobby. Stone and fiber cement panels made to look like wood, both in neutral tones, are used on the walls; the natural wood ceiling has a rich color and adds warmth to the spaces. Floors are either LVT or rubber to accommodate programming and have a neutral tone.

In the meeting room, the continuous band of clerestory windows supplies ample light throughout the day. Likewise, in the Lobby, floor to ceiling glazing along the entire length supplies abundant daylight. The artificial light is understated to give the spaces, particularly the lobby, a warm and cozy feel at night.

3) Exterior Design

The building design is modern and public in character, which is achieved by using contemporary proportions of building elements and via the generous use of glass. The form of the building responds to the viewsheds in the park setting and to the program. The tallest and most prominent feature of the building is the centrally located and raised butterfly roof with nearly 360 degrees of clerestory windows beneath. Thus, the raised butterfly roof appears to float when viewed from the distance and up close. Also, the butterfly shape of the roof makes the building appear welcoming on the front while enhancing the views out the clerestory windows toward tree groves at the back of the building.

The front of the building houses a long lobby that has floor to ceiling glass which makes the building feel friendly and open toward the front. The lobby roof widens near the entrance to provide a generous canopy. The low volumes on the sides of the building house support spaces. The building is clad in natural materials to reflect the natural setting. The materials are durable and easy to maintain. The natural stone used at the base of the building, prevalently at the north-facing back of the building, creates a more solid appearance as compared with the front. The side service volumes are clad in wood-looking fiber cement panel for durability. Both materials are light in tone. Above the stone is a continuous band of clerestory glazing. The mullions at the clerestory windows have an irregular horizontal pattern for visual interest. In contrast to the neutral-colored walls, the roof fascia is dark and the deep roof soffits are clad in warm-toned, wood-looking metal panels.

4) Site

As part of the 40-acre expansion of West Park, the Jill Perelman Pavilion houses basic amenities as well as multi-use spaces, seamlessly knitting indoor and outdoor programming to support youth summer camps, active recreation, and environmental education. The pavilions architecture celebrates the surrounding park setting through the natural material pallet, generous windows, and adjacent plaza spaces. The focus was placed on innovative stormwater and green infrastructure strategies that are intentionally open and visible near the pavilion, with rain chains conveying roof water through a series of pollinator gardens on its way to the park ponds. Boardwalks and plazas engage and invest in Carmels next generation of environmental stewards who visit the park for a variety of camps and events.

The sustainable site design was sensitive to preserving and enhancing environmental resources. Impact on numerous existing delineated wetlands was carefully avoided by the strategic placement of the pavilion, entrance road, and parking facilities. An adventure playground nestles into the woodland next to the Pavilion, preserving mature trees by making use of a natural clearing as well as specific tree removals required by the emerald ash borer response. Diverse native landscapes transition from upland prairie to wet meadow and emergent marsh across the site. These landscapes, as well as the carefully selected species within the plaza planting beds, support a wide range of pollinator and bird species. In all, the diverse habitats created on-site support educational programming for summer campers as well as students from the adjacent high school who use the park as an outdoor classroom.

5) Cost

From the first visioning charrette, the project embraced a sustainable financial and energy conservation stewardship model. All aspects of the design, from natural daylight, durable materials, to energy-efficient water furnace, all contribute to this mission. In addition, the Carmel Clay Community sustainability mission embraces education to its community of the amenities in the building design.

The butterfly roof acts as a key element of a stormwater collection education. The roof collects rainwater which spills to either side at the low ridge of the roof in a dramatic fashion. The water then collects on the low roofs of the service volumes and spills dramatically to the rain gardens on either side of the building. Likewise, the roof above the lobby has rain chains that channel water to the butterfly garden.