Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion by Buchanan Architecture

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.

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.

In 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. The pavilion also contains a broadcast-ready audio visual 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 compliment the activities in the garden by providing additional opportunities for educational and recreational events year round.