Great Glazing: Wellfield Botanic Gardens Community Water Pavilion

The basics: On the banks of a stream in Elkhart, Ind., the water pavilion at The Wellfield Botanic Gardens features a slumped glass dome with cast glass details that reflect the gardens’ natural surroundings. The glazing systems needed to be understated to blend with the garden, while at the same time durable enough to withstand high traffic and changing weather. 

The players: Landscape architect, Dennis Buettner, Buettner & Associates; metal framing systems supplier, Helgeson Steel Inc.; glass fabricator and installer, Studio L Inc.

The glass and systems: The pavilion is an octagonal-shaped structure consisting of a slumped glass dome, glass roof, and a glass header and railing. The Wellfield Botanic Gardens chose cast glass from Studio L Glassworks for the project, due to its ability to blend in with the area’s natural surroundings. Studio L fabricated the dome by slumping ¾-inch float glass over a custom mold. Stacked layers of cast glass sections comprised the roof, which involved engineering a one-of-a kind roof bracket/clip system. The headers were made by fusing ornate glass maple, oak and ash leaves, as well as floral blooms, to the cast glass. The pavilion railings were cast with a natural wave texture to reflect the rippling stream that sits adjacent to the pavilion. Studio L also incorporated LED strip lighting with the glass, so the structure would come alive at night.