The Butterfly Building
Merriweather Park, Columbia, MD

The Butterfly Building, a new guest services building in Columbia, Maryland, is being designed as part of the Merriweather Park Masterplan. The new building immerses the visitor in the forest, bringing them close to the existing trees.

Sited at a ridge on the highest point in the park, the building will raise visitors up into the tree canopy via gentle exterior stairs that lead to an outdoor performance space and bar. From this floating roof deck, visitors will in addition to rooftop performances also be able to see the historic 1968 Merriweather Post Pavilion by Frank Gehry on one side, and the future Chrysalis Amphitheater By Mark Fornes/ TheVeryMany, on the other.

The building’s facade materials enhance the relationship to the trees through reflectivity and varying opacities of glass, framing views out and through the building. The concessions, gallery and restrooms at the ground level are located along the perimeter of the building, leaving a light, open central space.

The project has received planning approval from Howard County.

The Butterfly Building
Client : Inner Arbor Trust
Project Location : Merriweather Park, Columbia, MD
Status : 2013 – tbd, DD completed
Area : 10,000sf
Program : Restaurants, art gallery, office, rooftop deck
Sustainability : LEED Silver target
nARCHITECTS Team : Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (Principals); Ammr Vandal (Associate), Gabrielle Marcoux (Project Manager), Daniel Katebini-Stengel, Amanda Morgan, Albert Figueras, Molly Purnell
Collaborators : Theater Consultant, Structural Engineer, MEP Engineer, Lighting, & LEED: ARUP; Landscape: Martha Schwarz, with Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc; Civil: Gustschick, Little & Weber PA