Looking back at the projects covered in Architectural Record during 2015, the editors have selected five pavilions—places intended for contemplation, meditation, and reflection—that thoughtfully consider both context and programmatic needs. Scroll through the slideshow and click each project’s name to read the article for a deeper look at the architects’ inspiration, process, and specifications.

Sayama Lakeside Cemetery Park Community Hall and Forest Chapel | Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co. | Saitama, Japan
Two bold yet thoughtful structures elevate the architecture of grieving and remembrance at burial grounds near Tokyo.


Fellows Pavilion, American Academy in Berlin | Barkow Leibinger | Berlin
A small glass and steel pavilion for scholars and writers on the grounds of the American Academy in Berlin is an elegant essay in structure.


Grace Farms | Kazuyo Sejima+Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA | New Canaan, Connecticut
A ribbon of glass, steel, and wood floats through a hilly landscape, serving a nonprofit foundation dedicated to bringing people closer to art, nature, and faith.


Australian Pavilion | Denton Corker Marshall | Venice
A dark and mysterious pavilion—the first new arrival in two decades—shakes up the Venice Biennale.


Windhover Contemplative Center | Aidlin Darling Design | Palo Alto, California
At Stanford University, a student retreat is also a meditation on architecture.