Buffalo, NY, welcomes a new addition to its famed architectural landscape with the opening of the Toshiko Mori-designed Greatbatch Visitor Pavilion at Frank Lloyd Wrights Darwin D. Martin House
. Wrights largest Prairie Style house in existence is in the final phases of a $50 million renovation to restore the five-building, 32,000-square-foot complex to its original 1907 condition.
Toshiko Moris 7,775-square-foot glass-paneled Pavilion complements Wrights landmark design and provides space for exhibition galleries and an alluring entryway for this architectural icon.
Construction of the Mori-designed Greatbatch Pavilion began in January 2008 and will be completed this December, as part of a $50 million restoration to the five-building, 32,000-square-foot Darwin D. Martin House Complex (1903-05). The Martin House Restoration Corporation (MHRC) commissioned Toshiko Mori Architect to design the 7,775 square-foot glass-paneled Pavilion to provide space for exhibition galleries and an entryway for visitors and guided tours.
Toshiko Moris design presents a counterpoint to the signature architectural principles Wright exercised throughout the Martin House Complex. Where Wright used brick, wood, and plaster, Mori turned to new materials, such as stainless steel columns and triple-glazed glass to create a 21st-century iteration of Wrights organic principles. The Greatbatch Pavilion references the Houses characteristic Prairie style with its similarly dramatic cantilevered hip-roof, quiet low-profile, and natural integration with the surrounding landscape. The dimensions of the Pavilions glass-panel exterior and its rectilinear floor plan were likewise derived from the proportions and scale of the Martin House. While inside the Pavilion, visitors will have uninhibited views of the historic Martin House and the surrounding grounds.
Toshiko Mori is principal of the New York-based Toshiko Mori Architect (TMA) and the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she served as the Chair of the Department of Architecture from 2002 to 2008. Since 1981, TMA has worked with a range of international clients, creating innovative designs for residential, commercial, and cultural sites. In 2008, Mori was awarded the project honor award by the New York Chapter of the AIA in recognition of her work on the Syracuse Center of Excellence along with the New York City Art Commission Design Award for the Poe Park Visitor Center.
Buffalo is also home to landmarks designed by such architectural giants as Louis Sullivan, Stanford White, D. H. Burnham, and Eliel and Eero Saarinen, and much of the city flows from a system of parks and parkways designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The city has the second largest collection of Wright-designed homes, including the Walter V. Davidson House and the William R. Heath House, in addition to the Darwin D. Martin House, the Barton House, and the Graycliff Estate. The new Greatbatch Pavilion and Burchfield Penney Art Center are the latest examples of Buffalos continuing tradition of architectural innovation.