Despite being centrally located in Houston, Rice University falls along a major bird migration route, making it one of the most biodiverse universities in the country, with one of the biggest bird species lists of any campus in North America. The Harris Gully Natural Area is a restored watershed within the Rice campus that includes several microhabitats for the migrating birds, including prairies, open woodland, and dense shrubland. The Mass Timber Pavilion, an observation deck immersed within the landscape, represents a small step toward the long-term management of this ecosystem.
The pavilion itself is an abstract object, conceived and sited in the picturesque tradition.
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