The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park
in the office of Marlon Blackwell Architect
The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park project was started in 2004 with the broad vision of creating an interpretive landscape for the installation of site-specific pieces of art on an existing floodplain site on the White River below the bluff-top Indianapolis Museum of Art. Working in collaboration with Mary Miss Studio, Ed Blake Landscape Architect, and Guy Nordensen and Associates Structural Engineers, our team set out to design a thoughtful sequence of experiences that started at the museum entry and culminated with a focused inhabitation of the park landscape. Component elements of the design were a bridge designed by Mary Miss that spilled down the bluff and across a canal to the site, an earth-bound experiential center, a delicate interpretive pavilion, lifted above the floodplain, and a landscape network designed to unveil the unique spaces naturally occurring in the floodplain landscape.
The project started with an extensive planning document. Some improvements to the grounds have been completed at this point, and the Ruth Lilly Visitor’s Pavilion, the interpretive pavilion, is complete and was recently awarded an AIA Arkansas Honor Award.
To learn more about designing in flood-prone areas and the interpretive potential of architecture, contact us here.