The Josey Pavilion as critical Regionalism

Author: Kristin Higgins

In this piece, Kristin adeptly demonstrates the connotation of regionalism by writing about a place where seems to be a paradox of regionalism with two various aspects. For example, you learn why The Josey Pavilion is an excellent example of this paradox. This is important because it considers the true meaning of regionalism with a different as people usually think. – Editor: Soha Rangie


The Josey Pavilion, located near Decatur, Texas, is the first Living Building in Texas. More interestingly, it is also a prime example of critical regionalism for the area. In an area of North Texas where the only buildings that are designed by respected architects are in Dallas or Fort Worth the Josey Pavilion creates a feeling of critical regionalism with the use of details and a focus on a site-specific systems approach. The overall form of the structure resembles two barns slightly offset from each other.

Everything about this structure’s design speaks to the contextual, cultural style of critical regionalism, but an interesting argument was posed. Does a lack of people at the site and its location in the middle of a pasture take away from its classification as a piece of critical regionalism?

The simple answer is no. Not all architecture is located in a city center. It is important that architecture functions for its purpose, and the purpose of the Josey Pavilion is an educational venue to preserve the watersheds from the damage of ranching. The Josey Pavilion achieves this purpose better than most venues because it is a comfortable, relaxing environment for the people it is trying to reach with its message.

Those who have not grown up in a rural area may not understand how the Pavilion can achieve its purpose from the middle of a pasture, but to those with knowledge of the local culture it makes perfect sense. The site achieves critical regionalism even if the number of cows is greater than people.

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