HWKN: fire island pines pavilion, new york
HWKN: fire island pines pavilion, new york HWKN: fire island pines pavilion, new york
may 28, 2013

HWKN: fire island pines pavilion, new york

HWKN: pine pavilion, fire island, new yorkimage © michael moran/OTTO




new york firm HWKN has given a new vitality to a fire island nightlife mainstay with their newly unveiled design for the iconic fire island pines pavilion. after a 2011 fire ravaged the legendary social hotspot, owners saw fit to revitalize the energetic social hub into a considered extension of the boardwalk and reframed nexus of the gay community. the architecture seeks to balance the equally important aim of preserving the relaxed, yet vibrant, energy of the pavilion with the overarching idea that fire island is an environmentally luscious escape from city life.


the architect, founder and CEO of the club, and director of entertainment speak about the symbolic importance and tectonic results of the pavilion video © FIP official




aside from the totally sensory experience of the wide-grain wooden material palette, the third iteration of the club sports two stories of outdoor terraces to accommodate ‘low tea’ casual afternoon casual drinking and ‘high tea’ late night energy. program volumes are interlocking puzzle pieces that blend the boundary between interior and exterior spaces. benches, wide staircases and storefronts activate the ground level in addition to the sculptural skin of the structure that stretches the public zone of the boardwalk. an internal loop of stairs weaves the volumes together, in particular the grand gesture of the height tea terrace that affords ideal views of the harbor.

the wooden volumes act as material extensions of the boardwalkimage © michael moran/OTTO




subtly angled spaces reframe interior views and external lines of sight as well as play with levels of intimacy within the space. architectural elements become opportunities for social interaction– even the dance space is elegantly graced with a gradient of 7 foot tall bleachers, optimal for people and landscape watching. planimetrically open to all sides the pavilion is an place intensely optimized for mingling and informal interaction, but moreover a materially honest architecture centered on community and the creation of life-enriching memories.

outdoor spaces compress and widen to create optimal social pockets that mediate between interiors and the idyllic natural setting image © michael moran/OTTO

renderings show a design optimized for casual social interaction that can be adapted for summer afternoons or lively nightsimage © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

spaces are framed and layered by elegant planes and beams of woodimage © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

the new pavilion’s material palette help the structure become an extension of the boardwalkimage © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

view of one of the ‘tea’ terraces with ideal harbor scenery as a backgroundimage © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

in progress view of the pavilion

floor plan level 0 image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

floor plan level 1image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

long section image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

short section image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

mass diagram, whole form image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

mass diagram, with stepped and setback volumes image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

axonometric volume diagram, circulation insertionimage © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

axonometric volume diagram, planar insertionimage © HWKN (hollwich kushner)

axonometric diagram, structure as skin image © HWKN (hollwich kushner)



project info:


location: fire island pines, fire island, nyclient: blesso propertiessize: 8,000 sq ftstatus: complete! principal in charge: matthias hollwichproject architect: egbert miles chuteam: tim aarsen with adam hostetler, jamie abrego, robert may, gregory nakata, mark paz, clare reidy, brett wiemann, nickie huang, agnieszka wojciechowicz

  • I think it looks amazing, but it’s hard to say how the space will feel. They’ve certainly kept the spirit of the place, and the all-important deck. The Welcome Bar feels a bit intrusive, placing a bartender right at the ferry dock. it was always refreshing to be greeted by a casual gathering of guys just walking the dog or getting groceries. (there were already other places to get cocktails just steps away but not RIGHT THERE.) Also, i think i’m going to miss the mezzanine view of the dance floor.

    caspar says:
  • I am certain that a great deal of improvements have been integrated into the new structure but the original space seems to have had a great deal of glass and the new structure closes everyone in. There may have been concerns about sound abatement I suppose. Also, I don’t recall when I have ever seen so many lineal feet of bar area. Thats where the money is made; lots of money.
    For all of the glorified ‘speak’ regarding what this structure is supposed to be it remains a bar and with all of the lineal feet of bar area will be making the owner(s) much more money than they were getting in the old structure. Bar = $.

    Ron Smith says:
  • Yes, it’s lovely. When is it opening?

    Bobby says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,956 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample