Tagged: Gores Pavilion

Gores Pavilion, New Canaan CT

Our trip to Boston last year also included a stop at New Canaan CT, home to the Glass House that I visited in 2016 and the recently restored Gores Pavilion, which I discovered is open to the public for tours courtesy of the The New Canaan Historical Society.

Gores Pavilion exterior

The building was designed as a pool house in 1959 by Landis Gores, one of the Harvard Five, a group of architects (John M. Johansen, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson and Eliot Noyes) that settled in New Canaan, Connecticut in the 1940s.

Gores Pavilion exterior
Gores Pavilion exterior

Gores was commissioned to design and build the pool house by a wealthy couple on the grounds of their lavish estate which was later sold to the town of New Canaan to become Irwin Park.

Gores Pavilion exterior with pool 1958
Gores Pavilion interior 1958

The structure consisted of a central high-ceilinged reception room flanked by two wings containing bathrooms, changing rooms and storage.

Gores Pavilion reception room fireplace
Gores Pavilion reception room

Gores installed transom windows around the sides of the reception room, which made the roof look as if it was floating, and floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors, which were designed to slide into wall pockets and run in front of the transom windows.

Gores Pavilion reception room seating
Gores Pavilion reception room detail

The sliding doors opened onto what was originally a pool area and the reception room contained a kitchen area at the back.

Gores Pavilion kitchen area
Gores Pavilion kitchen area detail

When the town purchased the estate it had planned to demolish the building. At this stage, the pool house had not been used in many years and had fallen into major disrepair: vines had grown over the walls and a tree was poking out of the chimney, bursting the brick apart.

Gores Pavilion reception room
Gores Pavilion reception room fireplace detail

While the original pool was filled in, the New Canaan Historical Society rescued the building through private donations and a grant from the state of Connecticut Department of Culture and Tourism. The two side wings were repurposed into gallery spaces and the main reception room was restored back to its original condition in order to be a living museum for modern architecture.

Gores Pavilion exterior detail