AIA CT has announced that the Mill River Park Carousel Pavilion in Stamford, CT has been awarded a 2017 Design Honor Award. These awards celebrate the accomplishments of Connecticut architects and the excellence of Connecticut architectural projects.
The pavilion, designed by architecture firm Gray Organschi, was the winning concept from a competitive open ideas solicitation for the site. The pavilion features retractable glass curtain walls that helps make a connection between the surrounding urban community and the riparian landscapes of the Mill River Park. The carousel and meeting spaces within the pavilion host birthday parties and other events that help generate revenue for the educational and conservation mission of the park's Conservancy group.
The design jury noted that the project is playful and architectural at the same time, a combination hard to achieve. They cited its simplicity, the understatement of the exterior shed, and the extraordinary discovery of the whimsical carousel inside as merits worthy of recognition. Said one jury member, "The laminated wood oculus is beautiful. The carousel is like an art piece."
TPA Design Group prepared design and construction documents for the park site work associated with the carousel pavilion. Site features include granite pavers, concrete plank pavement, and green wall plantings. Site planning protects existing mature Kwanzan Cherry trees planted by a Japanese immigrant over 50 years ago, a legacy which is recognized during Stamford’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
TPA also designed additional landscape features for a future Phase II for this area of the park. Additional concrete plank pavement, playful contoured lawn mounds for reclining and sitting, and native plantings are planned to complement a proposed timber pergola structure designed by Gray Organschi that will create an "urban porch" oriented towards the Rippowam River.