Another Winner on the Trinity River!

by User Not Found | Jan 26, 2012

JD Granger, Jim Oliver Accepting Rodgers Road Pavilion AIA award
From left to right-Lee Hill, Michael Bennett, Jim Oliver, Vic Henderson and JD Granger
Photo courtesy of Dallas-Fort Worth Construction News

Rodgers Road Pavilion (which is the home of Tim Love’s new restaurant, the Woodshed Smokehouse) won an award this week for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects. The building was designed by local architecture firm Bennett, Benner, Pettit for the Tarrant Regional Water District. The building was recognized for its exceptional use of an open public space that will serve not only as a restaurant but also as a new trailhead for movers and shakers on the Trinity Trails.

The southeast corner of Rogers Road and Riverfront Drive is a small triangular piece of underutilized but well positioned property owned by the Tarrant Regional Water District. Located immediately adjacent to the Trinity River’s Clear Fork along the Trinity Trails system, the site offers both river views and trail access, making it an ideal location for an active outdoor restaurant environment and trailhead.  However, the site’s access to the river is also important to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in case of an emergency.  For that reason, needs of the Corps allow the Water District to make active use of the property but does not allow the District to transfer ownership.  That opportunity with limitations created an exciting public/private partnership with inspired design.

The core of the design is a compound of buildings which form a casual outdoor dining courtyard opening onto the river and connecting to the trail system. In order to be environmentally friendly there is no air conditioning and shade is provided through preserving existing trees and with outward opening overhead doors which become canopies when open. Materials such as corrugated metal and exposed wood and wall ventilation fans reflect the industrial vernacular historically found along the river and in the nearby rail yards. In addition, all dinnerware used in the Woodshed will be biodegradable and the cups will be water soluble to help keep the neighboring Trinity River clean.

In the words of the AIA jurors:

“The success of this project can be credited to the restraint exercised in the execution. The limited budget was obvious, but the simple pallet of materials combined with reserved detailing, resulted in a product of honesty and enduring strength.  The density of the exterior entry side of the complex gives way to openness on the occupied side, which coupled with the arrangement of the various buildings, produces a very effective public space.” - jurors Julie Snow, FAIA of Julie Snow Architects in Minneapolis, MN, Mark Wellen, AIA of Rhotenberry Wellen Architects in Midland, TX and Chris Carson, FAIA of Ford Powell and Carson Architects and Planners in San Antonio, TX.

The award was accepted at a banquet Tuesday, Jan. 24th by:

Michael Bennett, Principal and CEO, Bennett Benner Pettit
Vic Henderson, Board President, Tarrant Regional Water District
Jim Oliver, General Manager, Tarrant Regional Water District
JD Granger, Director of Trinity River Development, Tarrant Regional Water District