Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion / Buchanan Architecture


© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith
  • Architects: Buchanan Architecture
  • Location: The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218, United States
  • Lead Architects: Russell Buchanan, FAIA. Gary Orsinger, AIA. Nakjune Seong
  • Area: 3700.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2017
  • Photographs: Charles Davis Smith
  • Landscape Architect: SWA Group. Chuck McDaniel, FASLA. Leah Hales, ASLA. Henry Dalton, ASLA. Rob Rider, ASLA
  • Structural Engineer: Urban Structures. Gary Taylor, P.E. Richard Reed, P.E.
  • Mep Engineer: G&S Consulting Engineers. Cheryl Baylie, P.E. Doug Tran, P.E.
  • Civil Engineer: The Brannon Corp. Robert Breedlove, P.E.
  • Lighting Design: Lang Lighting Design. Andy Lang, AIA. Jacob Gerber
  • Kitchen Design: ConsalFSD. Crue Welborn
  • Audio Visual: Idibri. Ben Cating. Dan Schoedel
  • Security: Caprock Consulting Group. Ken George, P.E.
  • Contractor: Rogers-O’Brien Construction. Leon Davis. Cary Hughes. Billy Large. Nate Moser. Adam Minter. Jonathan Morgan. Mark Tomamichel

© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith

Text description provided by the architects. The Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion is a 3,700 square foot multi-function space located at “A Tasteful Place” in the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society. The facility overlooks a 3.5-acre garden filled with fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. A demonstration kitchen in the pavilion serves as a site for cooking classes, demonstrations, educational programs and special events for adults and children.


Site Plan

Site Plan

The Test Pavilion is situated at the southern edge of the site and aligns with the orientation of four potager gardens to the north. The building is composed of a simple limestone box inserted into a glass enclosure. A faceted wood ceiling extends diagonally outward from the top of the stone box to the exterior soffit. Low iron glazing allows natural light from the north to animate the space and provide clear views toward the gardens. All of the stone cladding and exterior wood soffit are locally sourced and fabricated.


© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith

In the plan, the pavilion houses an open assembly space, a chef-designed demonstration kitchen, an audio/visual room, a storage/service room and restrooms. The back-of-house area is designed to accommodate catering needs and can be covered if necessary. Large wood rolling doors provide a variety of functional options at the demonstration kitchen depending on the event. The doors can be fully opened for a cooking demonstration or closed for a wedding reception, solving a programmatic requirement.


© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith

The pavilion also contains a broadcast-ready audiovisual production capability which allows a direct feed to television networks around the world. This allows the Arboretum to share educational programming with institutions worldwide. The Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion is intended to complement the activities in the garden by providing additional opportunities for educational and recreational events year round. 


© Charles Davis Smith

© Charles Davis Smith

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