Veterans Affairs Gazebo

A pavilion centered on a tree regenerates life and spirit

Synopsis: This highly collaborative effort aimed to create a pavilion for the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital residents in Bedford, MA. This site is adjacent to a courtyard that is dominated by a mature Norwegian Maple tree. The sponsors and funders wanted to create a special place where patients and veterans can congregate along a path while being under shelter and enjoying the tree.

Detailed Description: As such, the roof geometry uses the tree as a point of departure in its design. The gently arched form of the plan is centered on the tree and follows a curved path. Veterans can choose to sit on some of the built-in benches and admire the tree throughout the seasons.

The roof canopy works with the tree’s profile, and its branch-like structure mimics the tree’s structure. In the evening, the underside of the structure and its supporting beams and trusses are dramatically illuminated by LED lights concealed in the truss.

Our multi-disciplinary team included engineers, builders, and the local Home Depot’s volunteer staff, all led by Carmen Fulchini. He and many others were honored to be a part of the opening ceremony on November 12th, 2020 (See credits for a list of team members).

Besides representing a “giving back” type of project embodying PLA’s core values, we found it remarkable that this project was designed and built at the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic. We thank all those who contributed and helped in making this a reality.

This gazebo was made possible by The American Legion, the Department of Massachusetts, and the Home Depot, with special thanks to Joan Clifford, Laurel Holland, Mike Gardner, Rebekah Spencer, and Robert McCusker.