The Indian River Festival is a summer concert series held at St. Mary’s Church, a designated heritage site at Indian River in Prince County, Prince Edward Island. Among the Festival’s many traditions, is the gathering of audiences under a provisional tent on the Church’s west lawn before and after performances and during intermissions. In the spring of 2015, a permanent outdoor pavilion was constructed in its place.

The new pavilion is a single-storey volume with partial clerestory and a generous wood deck. While its north and east facades, abutting a dense treescape and the church annex respectively, are largely opaque with a ribbon of high awning windows, the south and east facades are highly transparent, with generous fenestration and large retractable glass doors.

Strategically oriented to offer views out to the nearby pasture and beyond to Malpeque Bay, its low roof, glass doors and outdoor wood deck engage the extensive lawn while high clerestory windows above allow daylight to filter down into the centre of floorplate. As the sky darkens, the clerestory takes on the appearance of a large lantern.

The higher butterfly roof, supported by a steel beam with a glulam wood frame structure, slopes down to the northeast. The north and east walls, facing dense trees and the church annex respectively, are largely opaque with ribbons of high awning windows that allow for through ventilation on warm summer evenings. The bar and serving area and accompanying storage is located in the north east corner while a few fixed wood benches are incorporated in the other corners of the pavilion.

The pavilion was designed to look out over the landscape, complementing rather than imitating the more introspective nature and gothic architecture of the church.

Montgomery Sisam in association with BGHJ Architects


Completion Date:


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Building Size:

1,600 sq. ft.

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