Bocce Pavilion

“The pavilion adds a sense of presence to the bocce rinks, while also making watching and waiting a more pleasurable experience. It provides a place of retreat from sun, from rain and from summer heat.” – extract from Ruth Slavid’s MICRO

The Bocce Pavilion was designed mainly to serve a group of post war Italian migrants who meet every Sunday afternoon and play a game of bocce. They wanted a ‘room’ to call their own – a place to display paraphernalia, store equipment and play cards when it rained.

The building takes its lead from the original amenities building – a corrugated metal building with a curved roof and louvre windows that was built by the local council. The pavilion extends the curved roof towards the bocce rinks and beyond the line of the building, becoming a covered area (or ‘la verandah’) to view the game. Beneath the curved roof is the main space of the pavilion – with a curved ceiling painted sky blue and generous proportions, this light-filled space is the ‘room’ the club members had dreamed of.

The bocce pavilion is a small public community room. Domestic in scale, it resembles a large living room in a house. It is an uncomplicated space and whilst the room is principally for the bocce club it has been used for many activities, including lessons in sitar playing, photography exhibitions and family gatherings. It provides an interesting model that could be easily applied to many situations and locations – it is a low cost building that does not seek to prescribe a particular use. In doing so it fulfils a multitude of needs in the community that could not be imagined at the start of a simple project.

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