Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion

The Ruth Lilly Visitor’s Pavilion provides a place of reflection and assessment, a place of questioning what has been directly experienced by the visitor and of what was observed, or not, of the processes — natural and cultural — at work within the Art + Nature Park. It too serves as a threshold for those entering the park from the Indianapolis greenway system. Educational activities for a few or fifty persons help visitors gain a deeper, and perhaps, even more meaningful understanding of the relationships between conditions nature-made and man-made. Positioned lightly upon the earth, detached with column supports, a horizontal frame structure in tension as much as compression. A continuous perforated surface of IPE wood slats forms a semi-transparent envelope of deck, wall, and roof, supported by a steel exoskeleton, allowing light and moisture to filter through it. The folded planes of the envelope sandwich glass enclosed program elements. The low-slung form of the pavilion, bathed in dappled light, hovering above the forest floor, acts as an apparition in the woods.

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