The Triangle Park Pavilion: First Steps : The Barlew Blog

David Barlew Architects is a Chattanooga-based architecture firm founded in 1978 by David Barlew, Sr. Our diverse practice has experience in the design and renovation of mixed-use developments, schools, offices, commercial centers and medical facilities. Local projects designed by David Barlew Architects in the past 5 years include Renaissance Square, a two story, mixed-use building completed in 2008 on Martin Luther King Boulevard by The 28th Legislative District Community Development Corporation; the Temporary Twelve-Bed Intensive Care Unit at Erlanger Hospital; Sing It Or Wing It, a karaoke bar and restaurant in downtown Chattanooga (interior design by Christi Homar); and the Auditorium Building Renovation and Addition at Cleveland State Community College for the Tennessee Board of Regents. David Barlew Architects has also volunteered time for the Brainerd Road Corridor Master Plan, a nearly three year long community-led initiative to improve the Brainerd Community of Chattanooga.

David Barlew Architects, Inc. is a member of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Triangle Park Pavilion: First Steps

by David Barlew, Jr. on 04/13/12

Since December of 2010, I have been working with the Belvoir Neighborhood Association on the design of a pavilion for their Triangle Park. Thanks to a number of recent successful and informative meetings with a number of public officials, it now appears that we will be able to proceed with construction documents for the project. Getting to this point has been a complex progress, and I would like to share some of our steps along the way.


First, some background. The Belvoir Neighborhood Association is one of Chattanooga's most active neighborhood groups. Utilizing the Triangle Park at Sweetbriar and Mayfair, they annually host a neighborhood gathering on the Fourth of July, and they orchestrate a caroling event each Christmas season. Unfortunately, the park lacks sufficient infrastructure for this level of civic entertainment. So, to accommodate the events' many guests and participants, the Belvoir Neighborhood Association rents tents and provides electrical power from generous neighbors. In order to facilitate matters, they decided that a pavilion was in order.


In December of 2010, the president of the Belvoir Neighborhood Association approached me about producing a design for a neighborhood park pavilion.


I, of course, jumped at the opportunity.


I am extremely passionate about neighborhoods, communities, and community initiatives. This pavilion project is the type of work---work to improve a community!---that I  really enjoy. This project is an opportunity to create public space where neighbors can meet and interact and continue the building of communities that is so vital to a healthy city.


After meeting to discuss the neighborhood association's needs, I produced the schematic floor plan shown below.


Having visited the site (I run or walk the dog past the park at least three or four times a week), I knew that hot, western, summer sun and cold, northwestern, winter winds are a concern. To provide seasonal (i.e. summer) shade, I proposed a trellis of deciduous vines along the western side of the pavilion. To shield pavilion occupants from the winter wind, I proposed an L-shaped wall assembly. The walls also provide plenty of mounting surfaces for bulletin boards festooned with neighborhood information, event flyers, and community news. To accommodate food service like casseroles at the Fourth of July (we are Southerners after all) or hot chocolate at Christmas, I proposed a reinforced counter with a simple sink. Finally, the design proposes a water fountain to replace the dead one now on site.


I presented the schematic plan to the Belvoir Neighborhood Association, but the residents' raised concerns about vandalism and vagrants, which prompted a revision to the design.





Due to concerns about potential damage and intentional misuse, we decided to eliminate the sink and counter. We also decided to eliminate any space in which a suspicious person could hide; several association members expressed concerns about criminal activity taking place in concealed spaces.


Redesign can be a good thing, and, in this case, it gave me the chance to revise the pavilion's roof profile.



What resulted is an assembly of two shed roofs connected back-to-back. (The first design had featured a single shed roof.)


I presented the Belvoir Neighborhood Association with the second design. The new, double-shed roofline was an instant hit, and the vegetated trellises continued their popularity. The trellises were so popular, in fact, that the group wanted more of them. And, one pavilion component made a comeback: the countertop.


With their comments in mind, I produced a third design for the Triangle Park pavilion. I stretched the existing trellis such that it covered the entire western side of the pavilion, and I devised an assembly of double columns linked with a panel of trellis material. The third design also includes two countertops. The first can be used as a place to display information at community forums and neighborhood association meetings. The second counter can be used to hold food and drink.



I presented the third design to the neighborhood association, but the pavilion was about to go through one more iteration.



After much time spent weighing needs, assessing concerns, discussing options, considering solutions, and producing designs, the Belvoir Neighborhood Association and I arrived at a schematic design.


We then began the process of turning a two dimensional sketch into a three dimensional reality. Since July of last year, we have presented our design to important public officials, listened to their comments, and attended to their concerns. Yesterday's successful meeting was a culmination of our hard work to make a community-driven project happen. In the near future, I will produce the construction documents for the pavilion, and we will proceed from there. I can't wait to see the Belvoir Neighborhood host an event in their new Triangle Park pavilion!


Image source:

All images produced by David R. Barlew Architects, Inc. Images are the property of David R. Barlew Architects, Inc. and are not to be copied or reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of David R. Barlew Architects, Inc.

Comments (6)

1. _emily_rose said on 4/13/12 - 05:46AM
I love that the roof line is an inverted triangle. Perfect for Triangle park :) If you're looking for a good vine consider Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides. It is very hardy, does well in full sun to moderate shade and is very drought tolerant. It has fragrant blooms, and nice foliage. The best part is that it is low maintenance and hard to kill. This website has great information and user experiences with plants, including geography.
2. Rob S said on 4/13/12 - 06:18AM
Really appreciate ALL your efforts to bring this project this far! THANKS!!
3. David Barlew, Jr. said on 4/13/12 - 07:08AM
Emily, thank you for the comment. Is Confederate Jasmine the same as "false jasmine", the evergreen, yellow-flowered vine native to the southeastern US that blooms in the late winter and early spring? If so, that is one of the plants I had in mind.
4. David Barlew, Jr. said on 4/13/12 - 07:09AM
Rob, thank you for the feedback! Thank you for reading the blog. I hope you enjoyed the post.
5. brendan sweeney said on 5/9/13 - 04:29PM
dear mr. barlew, i am building a pavillion for a state park in ohio as my eagle project. and have had some concerns with the roofing. i decided to go with metal roofing as the climate around here is very harsh. your designs are great.
6. David Barlew, Jr. said on 5/13/13 - 07:04AM
Brendan, thank you for your feedback. Best of luck with your pavilion! Be sure to check with the building officials having jurisdiction over your project's location concerning applicable permitting and building requirements prior to starting construction. The services of a licensed Architect or Engineer or licensed Contractor may be required depending on the scope and location of the pavilion. Thank you for reading the blog!

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