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Downtown Cary Park Construction, Summer Update

August 23, 2022

Annotated aerial view of ongoing construction

Construction continues on Downtown Cary Park, with significant progress having been made on the Great Lawn and Academy Pavilions, Bark Bar and Gathering House. Machado Silvetti has designed five park pavilions set in diverse landscape zones these include spaces for performance, indoor events, and dog play. Natural materials—warm woods, bricks, and metals—and curving forms help coalesce buildings with the landscape. The dynamic new landscape within which these pavilions are set was designed by OJB Landscape Architecture.

Side-by-side aerial rendering and drone photo of construction progress. Aerial photo courtesy of Balfour Beatty Construction

Conceived of as roofs hovering over the landscape, the pavilions offer a high level of transparency and views. Subverting norms of conventional sidedness that differentiates front-of-house and back-of-house, the pavilions cleverly embed back-of-house functions on the interiors so that the surrounding landscape is activated in 360-degrees.

Academy Pavilion

The Academy Pavilion provides indoor and outdoor multi-use flexible space at the interface between the historic urban core of the town and the park’s contemporary center. Located adjacent to Academy St., it serves as the primary food and beverage point in the park in addition to providing public restrooms, indoor/ outdoor event and dinning spaces as well as below grade park storage and support spaces.

Rendering of the Academy Pavilion
Construction progress on the Academy Pavilion. Aerial photo courtesy of Balfour Beatty Construction
Great Lawn Pavilion

The Great Lawn Pavilion located at the center and lowest point of the park anchors the intersection of many distinct park zones. The pavilion provides a shaded space for a range of programed classes and activities in addition to capacity and infrastructure to host large events, movies, and musical performances. The Pavilion is a single inverted cone with an asymmetrical apex, supported on just three points—a dramatization of structure that reflects the primary purpose of the stage. The geometry of this pavilion was created in precise relationship to acoustical needs for a multi-purpose performance stage while the form, material, location of structure, multiple orientations and ground surface were all designed to encourage regular daily use of this covered space between signature performances.

Rendering of the Great Lawn Pavilion
Construction progress on the Great Lawn Pavilion. Aerial photo courtesy of Balfour Beatty Construction
Bark Bar

The Bark Bar Pavilion located adjacent to Walker St. provides a smaller food and beverage point at the northern most corner of the park sited adjacent to the dog play areas. The pavilion is designed as an outdoor walkup bar experience with ample shade and seating for large and small groups to gather. Its roof edge is more sinuous in space, while forming an oversized scupper for rainfall, providing a centerpiece for a partially enclosed courtyard that serves as a memorable gathering point for park-goers.

Rendering of the Bark Bar
Construction progress on the Bark Bar. Aerial photo courtesy of Balfour Beatty Construction
Gathering House

The Gathering House, nested within the Gathering Garden, provides a large interior room that can be open to the Garden, for both private and public programming. While distinct from the other pavilions in its rectangular form, it is related to the others by means of dimension, proportion and material consistency.

Rendering of the Gathering House and Garden
Construction progress on the Gathering House. Aerial photo courtesy of Balfour Beatty Construction

Downtown Cary Park is a seven-acre, centerpiece collaboration between the Town of Cary, OJB Landscape Architecture, Machado Silvetti, and a host of consultants, community members, and the town’s council and manager’s office.

Project team on site visit from left: Meriç Ozgen, Austin Ward, Jeffry Burchard, Rebecca Lubrano (SGH), Emily Ashby
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