© Paul Warchol

Pool Pavilion


This recreational structure is conceived of as a rift in the landscape, along the shore of Lake George. Less a building than an earth form, the structure serves as a central gathering place, which unites the existing family and guest houses around a series of exterior and interior spaces. The program includes outdoor playfields, terraces, patios, and an indoor lap pool, theatre, gym, and office.

Much of the program, including the pool, gym, and theatre are topped with sod roofs to create an upper terrace and large playing fields. These fields are linked to the lake, pool, gym and courtyard below by sod ramps and bluestone stairs. Continuous planes of low iron glass and large sliding panels connect the pool space to the outside, allowing the pool to act as a kind of indoor-outdoor bridge between the formed sunken courtyard on one side, and the natural world of the lake on the other. Continuous walls of locally-quarried bluestone wrap around and through the structure, demarcating the landscape rift as the central organizing element.

A two-story copper-clad structure, the sole vertical element of the building's form, rises out of the courtyard to create a marker in the flat landscape. On the second floor, a small office serves as a lookout point for the site. Its copper shingles reflect the forest behind on the one side, and expanses of glass give way to 180 degree views of the lake on the other. The ceiling in the pool room is inverted planes of fabric. On the underside of the land bridge, the fabric ridge serves as a subtle counterpoint to the bold solidity and angularity of the landscape forms.

The fabric ceiling also provides complete acoustic transparency by adding acoustical insulation to what would typically be a reverberant pool space. The building uses the synergies of deep geothermal wells and a heat recovery dehumidification system to efficiently heat the pool, while cooling the rest of the building. The experience of the pool and its adjoining spaces suggest alternative ways of both viewing and participating in the Adirondack Landscape.

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