McNeal 020 emerged from the desire of David Telerman and a private client based in France to build a perennial structure in the American desert, Southern Arizona, in response to the shared fascination for the surrealist nature, which brought years before artists such as Max Ernst in search of new forms. By bringing together the raw elements of the surrounding place, the building must offer a landscape to experience, as a photographer or a painter would do with their own means, with precise attention to the vastness of the desert, the weight of the wind and the geometrical precision of the light.
The pavilion, all made of reinforced concrete cast-in-place, is composed of an inverted pyramid, digging into the ground and closed in the center. At the top, extending from the roof, are four lines of various lengths flattened onto the ground: elongated lines leading the visitor; lines to walk above, to feel the verticality of a fragile body, the fear of falling down; lines below, to capture the ever-changing light, distorted shadows waving on the steps as precise pendulums. Inside, a linear bench faces the door and the sunset light shining through. The underground structure, not visible entering the site from the East, gradually appears, revealing a breach, the steps and the central space: the organization of procession.
Despite its apparent simplicity, the structure tends to express, almost in a primitive way, the contrast between nature that gradually disappears down the stairs in a quiet sound and the view of nature reappearing while climbing up the stairs, the reddish ground, heavy wind and the mountains in the far end.