Casita Miro Pavilion

The project was won by F+D=A via an open competition entry. The brief was for a 120sq.m. pavilion style addition to an existing 65sq.m. restaurant.

The replacement of a ‘temporary’ alfresco dining tent with a new “front-of-house” bar / dining solution that would ensure a water-tight structure (extending the possible hours of operation) while maintaining the quality of the light that was part of the previous alfresco environment.

 

The site was a steep north facing hillside, overlooking the vineyard with magnificent views to the open sea. Our solution was a pavilion style structure. The building is cut into the hillside; to have the structure grow out of the ground.  This is emphasised at the entrance with an interior garden allowing the natural ground line to literally enter the building, and an intimate view to the grassed back-slope through full height glazing.  The front of the building in contrast is ethereal, with the floor slab projecting out front natural ground to be supported on very tall solid timber piers some 6 metres high, the building reaching out towards the panoramic views. We used a mixture of the very traditional and the very modern.  Base materials selections were made to ensure robustness and permanence, hardwoods, concrete, glass, iron.  The use of high-tech double-hung frameless, low-iron glass facade system; allowing the creation of a virtually invisible, 4.2-metre-wide glass spans; ensured the impression of openness of “pavilion” style.

 

Aesthetically, the building does not seek to conform to a contemporary style, or any modern accepted standard of beauty.  Its style was to be simple, quirky, borrowed, and worn.  “...we don’t want a new building. Make it look like it has been here for 100 years…  There are elements from Spain.  A Gaudi-esque curved external path is continued through the building as initially a stair, then as the bar front.  Salvaged building elements were used to emphasis a sense of history and aged appeal.  Old European doors were restored and used for the main entry and a sympathetic new structure provided around them to complete.  Antique Egyptian tiles were used, with varying designs, to add richness.  An historic, grand arch element was chosen to span between the piers, as a linking element, and to ‘frame’ the views.

 

With difficulties of building on an island and a non-negotiable opening date, a modular system was developed with the building’s components, pre-assembled off site and then flat packed and reassembled on-site.  This prefabrication also included the window joinery, which was procured directly from overseas, at an early stage in design to save time and dramatically reduce cost.

 

The building’s systems are also it’s ornamentation. Honesty of structure. Structure as decoration. All structural elements and systems for the building are expressed.  The main support structure the piers are solid timber, with no finish these are left to weather naturally. The traditionally styled trusses are exposed.  The windows’ ‘beehive’ styled weights are external, left to rust.  The building is simple, immediately understandable, and so comfortable.  Delightful.

Category

Commercial Hospitality

Location

Auckland

Service

Architecture

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