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2011 Design + Build

The Leaf

Project Information

Clients: Durham Parks and Recreation

Location: Durham Central Park

Size: 475 SQFT

Program: Multi-purpose gathering space that is primarily transparent with some shade, but not to be used for shelter

Materials: Steel, Concrete, Cypress Wood

Students: Nathan Blair, Devin Bradbury, Jessica Braverman, William Dodge, Evan Lane, James Leonard, Scott Leonard, Sylvia Lynch III, Behnood Minachi, Kelly Mocock, Matthew Petr, Geoffrey Wike

Instructors: Randall Lanou, BuildSense; Erik Mehlman, BuildSense; Ellen Cassilly, Ellen Cassilly Architect

Instructional Collaborators: Scott Metheny, BuildSense

Structural Engineer: Richard Kaydos-Daniels, Kaydos-Daniels Engineers

Over the course of 11 weeks students were responsible for design, marketing, fund-raising, construction documents and permitting, cost-estimates, budgeting, scheduling, and construction. The result is a playful combination of art and design that has become an instant Durham landmark. Vertical cypress fins clad an elegant steel frame and respond to the movement of the sun by shading the integrated cypress benches during the times when the sun is highest in the hottest summer months. The Leaf hosts daily impromptu gatherings and bands playing for the Farmer’s Market. It serves to hold the screen for Movies in the Park. It has been the setting for local weddings. The beautiful structure has activated this area of the park and become an immediate local favorite.

Project Images