The St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion is an iconic multi-purpose structure that brings fresh produce and locally made crafts to the community around historic Washington DC. The 24 foot high pavilion designed by Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners deploys sustainable mechanisms, including rainwater harvesting, and uses roof plantings to reduce the heat island effect.
The building stands on a site formerly occupied by the St. Elizabeths Hospital which dates back to the times of the Civil War. Now the 18-[acre plot provides a setting for communal and public activities, as well as private investments. The pavilion occupies a small area within the site and hosts temporary retail, dining, learning, community and events throughout the year. It boasts a gorgeous green roof where people can have their afternoon coffee.
The architecture stems from the layout of trails of existing and anticipated movements across the site. This approach resulted in a functional and flexible space which allows for easy circulation across the site as well as different levels of the pavilion. The ground floor is filled with modular booths and temporary structures which allow for quick and efficient change of functions and activities.
By anticipating the movement of the public across the site, the architects recognized three distinct zones which enabled them to broaden the impact of the building beyond its physical limits. By accessing the roof, pedestrians are offered a new perspective and gorgeous views of the surroundings. The elevated landscape of the roof is turned into a setting for open-air concerts and community events.
Photos by Eric Taylor