Set on the eastern shore of the Cayuga Lake in upstate New York, the Aurora Event Center is envisioned as a year-round event space accommodating weddings for up to 250 guests. The primary design intent is to create a strong connection to the lake and frame its picturesque views. It is purposefully designed to not disturb the existing historic sites in the village and neighboring residences, but to maintain a seamless integration with the surrounding landscape while providing protection from inclement weather.
The sequence of experiences takes visitors on a meandering drive through the woodlands as they approach the building’s eastern wall that appears like a ruin in the landscape. As guests pass through the entry portal, the hall slopes down toward the foyer and is washed with natural light by a skylight that follows the length of the space.
Only after going through the entry procession can one realize that the building is cut into the hill. Taller on the west side than initially perceived on the east, the rustic board-formed concrete wall retains the earth to carve out space into the hill for the pavilion and terraces.
Internal courtyards are included as integral components to the building’s design, acting as anchors to the spatial layout. These courtyards bracket the main reception hall, filtering natural daylight within and elevating the presence of landscape for the overall experience.