Timber Framing at its Finest: Pavilions and Stages

Pavilions and stages allow timbers to do what they do best: frame large, open spaces without the interruption of intermediary posts, and to do so in a mighty and artistic way. The Clamshell Pavilion is no exception. Its roof takes inspiration from the graceful curves of a clamshell, lending a certain spaciousness to the final shape. We have been involved in building two of these timber frame stages, which use traditional timber frame joinery to create a sheltered space for outdoor gatherings.

The Clamshell Pavilion is, in its most basic form, a four posted shelter with a shed roof. What makes it unique and eye-catching is that everything about it has a radius. The rafters are splayed, the plates that those rafters land on is both round and bowed, the posts are forked trees, and the floor deck, following the curve of the roofline, is an arc.

The Brevard Clamshell: The Pilot Cove Amphitheater

The amphitheater came to life in 2016, in Brevard, North Carolina. It was built by Wheelhouse Builders, where a former TimberHomes employee, Matthew Agrella-Sevilla had brought his timber framing chops. All of the timbers in this “Pilot Cover Amphitheater” came off of the property where the building now stands. This video has great footage of the frame being cut and raised, and features Chris Faulkner, owner and founder of Wheelhouse, and Matthew.

The Montpelier Clamshell: The Stage in Hubbard Park

In 2017, Montpelier’s Park’s department got in touch to ask if we’d help create a similar building to the Pilot Cove Amphitheater for the city’s largest park. Our work was to cut the complicated timber frame joinery (namely, joining the forked posts to the curving plates), and to provide plans and advice on a consulting basis. The Park Staff handled the rest of the project, including procuring the forks and plates, installing the foundation and floor deck, cutting and raising the pole rafters, and eventually installing a shingle roof. Kudos to the staff for building their own Clamshell Pavilion!