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faced by the designers was to create a welcoming public facility that presented the Constitution as more than a historical document, but also as an integral part of modern American society.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.

 

Location

Philadelphia, PA

 

Client 

National Park Service

 

Architect

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

 

Awards 

Platinum Award for Engineering Excellence, 2005

American Council of Engineering Companies New York (ACEC NY)