The Ruth Lily Visitors Pavilion Meshes Art, Architecture and Nature

by , 06/23/11

green design, eco design, sustainable design, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Ruth Lily Visitors Pavilion, Art & Nature Park, Marlon Blackwell, geothermal heating, LEED certified, visitor center

Ipe hardwood planks form a large walkway, a deck, a wall, and a slatted-light filtering sunshade that covers the deck, all of which are supported by a steel frame. The interior meeting rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows that allow light and nature to flush the inside. The center of the pavilion hosts a more private room, with wooden walls and windows lining the top.

The Visitors Pavilion is outfitted with water-saving fixtures, as the plumbing is fed by well water. Heating and cooling within the facility is controlled using a sustainable geothermal system. Being completely in tune with the natural environment, the entire pavilion is also situated in a way that allows floodwaters to flow around and under the structure without causing architectural damage.

The unobtrusive pavilion will be used for small meetings and educational classes of up to 50 people. The open-air design, green features and glass façade will inspire its visitors to reconnect with the nature around them. The pavilion will also be energy-efficient and LEED certified.

+ Marlon Blackwell Architects

Via Arch Daily

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  1. 360Chestnut June 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    Geothermal systems provide reliable clean and cheap energy all year round. Most people don’t realize that they are suitable for single-family homes. A growing number of Americans are now taking advantage of state and federal incentives to cover a substantial amount of the upfront costs. Once their system is up and running, they’re saving thousands on their energy bill. If you would like to find out more, the 360Chestnut team would love to help you out.

  2. quercuslogica June 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

    It’s a shame this article does not reference the landscape architect responsible for creating the setting for the building. The late Edward Blake’s masterpiece at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 100 acre park restored the site from its previous status as a gravel pit. The landscape binds the building to the site, and while the construction of a new building uses natural resources, the landscape design restores those resources for posterity. Find out more about the project at

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