Reflects Folly in Cleveland building, Ohio Botanical Garden, USA Pavilion Competition Winners, OH Architecture

Reflects Folly in Cleveland

New Ohio Building, North America, Botanical Garden design by SILO AR+D.

Mar 10, 2019

Architects: SILO AR+D

Locations: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Reflects Folly is the winner of an architect-led design build competition for a temporary structure that became a centerpiece of the Cleveland Botanical Garden’s summer show. The brief called for an innovative Treehouse design that reconnected guests of all ages to the outdoors through interactive experiences that reveal the physical, emotional and developmental benefits of staying engaged with outdoor environments.

Reflects Folly in Cleveland Reflects Folly in Cleveland

Photos by Scott Pease

Reflects Folly

The chosen site was the Secret Garden, a walled court with no trees surrounded by manicured gardens. The design emerges out of considering possibilities for Treehouse architecture on a tree-less site—a unique object that retains essential qualities that make Treehouses memorable.

As a point of departure, an abstracted gabled house archetype floats above the surrounding walls in suspended animation, offering panoramic views out to the surrounding botanical garden. To create the “trees” that the house rests on and within, reflective surfaces are introduced, and the house profile is symmetrically mirrored down to generate a series of periscopes, transforming the Secret Garden into a Secret Forest.

Reflects Folly in Cleveland Reflects Folly in Cleveland

The resulting abstract, planar, and porous architecture, in combination with the surface reflection, yields a variety of dynamic views whether on the ground or within, effectively engaging everyone in the Treehouse experience. Spaces throughout contain places to sit, walk through, and climb.

Reflects Folly in Cleveland Reflects Folly in Cleveland

Built for the extremely modest budget of $10,000 USD, the project was installed in about 10 weeks from award. With limited access for construction, a prefabricated structure was developed to minimize construction time on site while limiting disturbance to the Garden’s grounds.

The light yet strong assembly included an interconnected solid steel rod frame and infill panels of painted exterior grade plywood. The design was tested iteratively through physical and digital models that were sent to the fabricator and used for construction.

Reflects Folly in Cleveland Reflects Folly in Cleveland

Reflects Folly, Cleveland – Building Information

Architect and Builder: SILO AR+D
Project size: 108 ft2
Site size: 300 ft2
Project Budget: $10000
Completion date: 2015
Building levels: 2

Reflects Folly in Cleveland

Photography: Scott Pease

Reflects Folly, Cleveland images / information received 100319 from SILO AR+D

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America

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