The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens is an acclaimed architectural gem and cultural destination. Glavovic Studio proposed a new Visitor Engagement Center concept that captures a sense of place, moment in time and connects the global community drawn to this historic institution in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida.
A linear inflected north-south orientation contextually organizes the program to take advantage of prevailing breezes and views of the surrounding natural landscape and nearby Bonnet House situated across a lagoon. Short term, staff and long-term landscaped auto and bus parking are located to the west leading through a porte-cochere. The structure is bifurcated, featuring a porte-cochere linking the museum’s visitor and administrative offices. The generous main circulation corridor becomes a shaded open-air promenade that links all the program spaces in a simple logical progression leading to and from the Bonnet House & Gardens to the east.
A long rectangular folded form concrete, solar paneled roof canopy on columns hovers above a series of transparent and opaque volumes of glass and concrete masonry construction separated by open-air breezeways, designed in a similar distributive fashion of the original Bonnet House enclave.
Selected construction materials are in consonance with the original Bonnet House. Gabion walls along with supports for epiphytes and orchids face the lagoon and ventilate the wood deck promenade and ancillary open courts. Surrounding mangroves and other selected native landscaping are in view. The concept features two new outdoor spaces “Mangrove Court” and “Lagoon Court,” which would provide income generating opportunities for the museum.
“It was the most beautiful spot upon which I had laid eyes in all my travels.” Hugh Taylor Birch