100-2000 SQUARE FEET



Flow is the result of an international competition sponsored by the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to seek out ideas to transform the Louisville waterfront promenade. The objective was to create a flexible pavilion that could house a variety of uses.

Our design proposal evolved out of our project research. We discovered that several recent redevelopment efforts resulted in new parks, performance, and recreational spaces. While the new areas are well-executed individually, there is little visual or physical cohesion between them. Additionally, much of the public space on the waterfront is long, exposed, and undefined. The spaces are bound by an adjacent, featureless elevated freeway on one side and the river expanse on the other. Both lack any kind of human scale. Lastly, we were inspired by Louisville’s rich history of riverboat design and culture with several famous boats still in operation.

Combining these discoveries led us to a solution that would add definition, connectivity, historical and cultural reference, and intimate scale to the waterfront promenade and construct a new frame from which to view and experience the river and the city. We designed Flow as a flexible system that could be used as unique spaces for music performances, seating, gatherings, concessions, and exhibitions. The system allows for the 

construction of several pavilions of various sizes and configurations based on the number of pieces and orientation. These pavilions, spaced along the entire waterfront, create a continuous programmatic and visual connection along the water’s edge that simultaneously envelopes, contains, filters, frames views, and offers a unique pathway to scale and space.

The pavilions themselves are inspired by the design of riverboat paddles, their movements, and the resulting wave patterns the paddles produce in their wake. They are assembled using standard materials including 8’ and 10’ studs, wood spacers (ripped from 2x4 stock into three predetermined tapered shapes), and self-tapping wood screws. An enclosure is created through the repetition of the self-supporting wood studs, connected by the tapered spacers. Changing the connection point of the studs, and varying the tapered spacers achieves a variety of form. Richness is created out of simplicity.

Flow is assembled without finishes or chemical treatment. All materials can be disassembled, reused, and/or donated to local housing charities.