Sit and Stay Awhile
J. Michael Welton -- Interior Design, 7/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
The first colonial capital of North Carolina, picturesque Edenton became a mill town in the 19th century. An 1898 brick cotton mill there is currently being converted into 51 condominiums by Clearscapes, a firm cofounded by an architect and a sculptor. The building is connected by a 500-foot-long meandering boardwalk to lazy little Queen Anne's Creek, and along the way is this folly—more accurately a trickster, defying definition not for lack of meaning but for multiplying ones. A link between home and nature that's neither indoors nor out, the pavilion is a punctuation mark and a meditation point.
Clearscapes also designed the folly, prefabricated it in 10 days, and erected it on-site over two more. The materials? Simplicity itself. Pressure-treated southern pine appears in the form of decking, three strategically placed benches, and black-stained vertical supports. Cedar, now weathering to gray, was used for horizontal slats, spaced rhythmically to reveal optimal views of water and sky, woods and mill.
"It's a place to frame nature in the summer," says designer Jedidiah Gant. "It's about looking where you're going. Or where you came from."