The Audio-Reader Sensory Garden, a secret garden nestled into the topography of Mount Oread, is a source of pride for the Audio-Reader Network. “The garden…is filled with flowers, herbs, and accessories to delight the senses. Plants with interesting textures, such as Lambs Ear, intermingle with fragrant leaves of mint and lavender. The sounds of wind chimes join the chirping of birds visiting the feeders. Plants are in raised beds, making a hands-on experience easy for pedestrians and wheelchair users. A winding brick pathway leads from the house, past the raised beds, to the gazebo.” Alas, their gazebo was falling into disrepair. In its place, the Dirt Works Studio designed the Sensory Pavilion, an open-air pavilion nestled into the existing garden. As one enters the pavilion - the gravel crunching underfoot - the smell of the charred wood and rammed earth fills the air, the temperature and texture of the earthen elements contrast with the wooden ones, dappled shadow along the feathered edge gives way to deeper shadows as the canopy tilts down toward the rear edge of the garden. The rear screen admits light and mediates views from the garden, while diagonal steel rods introduce another rhythm while tying the roof back to the ground to resist the garden-side cantilever.



The pavilion is comprised of a compacted earth floor at the end of the existing brick pathway that connects to a new mulched path along the east edge of the garden (significantly expanding the garden); a series of three low rammed earth walls and a nine foot tall rammed earth column; a charred cedar screen wall; built-in cedar benches; and a mass timber screw-laminated charred cedar roof clad in powder-coated steel shingles. All major components of the pavilion interlock into the others - the bench interlocks with the rammed earth and cedar screen walls and the screen walls interlock with the mass timber roof structure above.

Designbuild Studio: Dirt Works Studio
Instructor: Chad Kraus
Students: Anna Collins, Kelli Dillion, Nick Faust, Patrick Griffin, Tanner Hyland, Alexa Kaczor, Joseph Kaftan, Stephen McEnery, Caitlin McKaughan, Jeshua Monarres, Jarad Mundil, Dillon Park, Spencer Reed, Shummer Roddick, McKenzie Samp, John Schwarz, Mitchell Starrs, Elayna Svigos, Hannah Underwood, Jeremy Weiland

Structural Engineer: Mike Brunin, Apex Engineers

Sensory Pavilion by Chad Kraus in United States won the WA Award Cycle 24. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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Chad Kraus

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