“Perforation! Shout it out! The deliberate punctuated weakening of paper and cardboard so that it will tear along an intended path, leaving a row of fine-haired pills or tuftlets on each new edge! It is a staggering conception, showing an age-transforming feel for the unique properties of pulped wood fiber.”

Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine

Perforations in the roof of the Pavilion in Pacific Plaza Park, downtown Dallas, Texas

The centerpiece of the new Pacific Plaza park in downtown Dallas is the Pavilion. Designed by HKS it is an elliptical metal ring suspended in the air – giving much needed shade. I wondered what the story behind all the holes was.

From a D Magazine article:

The design team punctured 58,290 holes in the pavilion canopy, a subtle, morse code tip of the cap denoting the names of 337 stops along the Texas and Pacific Railroad.

Pacific Plaza Park, Dallas, Texas


Snøhetta Pavilion

As I was working my way through South Dallas on my bicycle exploring three of the Nasher XChange sites – between Flock in Space and Black & Blue: A Cultural Oasis in the Hills – I took a look at the GPS on my phone to make sure I wasn’t lost. I realized that I wasn’t far from something I wanted to visit. Even though I was behind schedule and getting tired I would be passing close enough to make a side trip.

So I did.

I turned off of Bonnie View Road into a neighborhood until I reached College Park. Past some guys playing basketball I found what I was looking for – a new park pavilion designed by the Oslo-New York firm Snøhetta. A review of the structure had shown up in the Dallas paper and aroundgathering some architectural praise.

It looked pretty interesting, enough for me to visit.

Snøhetta Pavillion, College Park, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Snøhetta Pavillion, College Park, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

Picnic Tables and Grills, Snøhetta Pavillion, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Picnic Tables and Grills, Snøhetta Pavillion, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

I couldn’t stay long, but it was pretty cool in person. An ingenious design – unusual, yet in harmony with the site. Striking, yet useful. It seems to have been economical to build and designed to last a long time.

The picnic tables and outdoor grills were an unexpected treat – I loved the design of these. I didn’t think there was much you could do with public picnic tables – but these were unique and cool.

Later, at home, I did some web research and found a publication that extolls the virtues of the Pavilions in Dallas parks – listing a whole slew of them.

Now that I’ve finished with the Nasher XChange, maybe that’s something I can cycle through town and look at. Picnic Pavilions are pretty pedestrian objects and I have to say I haven’t noticed them for a long time.

But isn’t that the point? To try and ride around my own city and notice things that everyone usually ignores?

Maybe so.