The McDonald pavilion
is located on a northerly slope of the South Yuba River drainage
near Nevada City. This building was placed visually remote from
the main residence, to provide a quiet space away from phones and
daily domestic activities.
The pavilion was conceived as a multi-use "retreat", and has functioned
as a guest house, a center for individual and group meditation,
and for community workshops. Large glass doors on three sides of
the central room provide abundant natural light and a close visual
connection to the surrounding wooded hillside.
A breezeway links the main space to a bathhouse with soaking tub,
sauna, indoor and outdoor showers, and room for massage table. This
space is “bathed” in natural light through a six-foot-square pyramidal
skylight. The bathhouse and meditation room share a patio that features
a large multi-trunk cedar tree and built-in benches.
Material finishes include local cedar exterior paneling, slate
roofing tiles, adobe pavers for interior flooring and the patios,
and Douglas fir interior paneling and exposed structural beams.
The pavilion has been nestled into its sloping site to minimize
its visual presence. Deer-tolerant landscaping
at the entrance area has contributed to this fusion of the building
with the natural landscape.
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