The Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion
Designer: Toshiko Mori Architect
Opening to the public tomorrow, the Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion, a new addition to the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, highlights Wright’s signature Prairie style through a sublimely contrasting aesthetic. Designed by Toshiko Mori of New York–based Toshiko Mori Architect, the $5 million pavilion can be seen as a reinterpretation of Wright’s classic “organic principles,” integrating the surrounding landscape while meeting the programmatic needs of the complex, a site of architectural pilgrimage that is home to both the Darwin D. Martin House and the George F. Barton House, plus sundry outbuildings including a pergola, conservatory, carriage house, and gardener’s cottage.
Part of an ambitious, multi-year restoration and expansion of the complex—Wright’s largest residential ensemble—the 7,775-square-foot, glass-paneled pavilion houses interpretive exhibitions, interactive touch screen programs, and a visitor orientation film. The new structure, which sits unobtrusively across a courtyard from the main house, reflects Wright’s overarching structural logic: His archetypal Prairie style is echoed by the building’s cantilevered hip roof and low, horizontal profile, while the dimensions of the glass-paneled exterior and floor plans derive from the proportions and scale of the 1905 Martin House. Mori carefully updates Wright’s formal vocabulary with materials such as stainless-steel columns and high-performance glass, providing thermal insulation while maximizing daylight. The triple-glazed windows also provide visitors with the most important benefit of all—uninterrupted views of Wright’s masterpiece next door.