Atherton Pavilion

Serving as both a residence and a venue for private, philanthropic events, this remarkable pavilion leaves behind historical allusions to create a universally welcoming place.

Drops of water, source of symbol of life, inspire the organic shape of the pavilion, freeing it from association with any particular era, location, or architectural language. It draws, instead, on the latest, 21st century construction techniques, its high-performance, semi-reflective metal skin reinforcing its fluid nature.

The pavilion both floats above and merges into the landscape, which steps down to form an amphitheater courtyard that brings life and light to the lower level of the building. A 120-foot long pool, a linear counterpoint to the pavilion and the surrounding natural landscape, brings a unique and unexpected source of sunlight into the basement spaces.

Two options of different scales aid the client in defining the extent of the program that can most effectively host a wide spectrum of people of diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds in the common goal of creating a better tomorrow.

Photography: Gerry Ratto
Publications: Small Firm Great projects