National Constitution Center
LERA was the structural engineer for this 435,000-sf cultural facility housing a 36,000-sf (3,300-sm) visitor center, a 46,000-sf exhibition space, an 11,000-sf (40,400-sm) educational resource center and a media production facility. The building’s central lobby is defined by a 168-ft by 112-ft (50-m by 35-m) oval-shaped atrium framed by a large glass curtain wall that faces the park. The museum also houses an auditorium that functions as a national town hall for presidential debates and other significant events.
The major challenge faced by the designers was to create a welcoming public facility that presented the Constitution as more than a historical document, but also as an integral part of modern American society. From the lofty front “porch” to the airy and spacious sky-lit lobby to the 350-seat theater-in-the-round and its surrounding gallery, the National Constitution Center provides an inviting and educational environment that is as expansive as its architectural design.
National Park Service
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Platinum Award for Engineering Excellence, 2005
American Council of Engineering Companies New York (ACEC NY)