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Philadelphia Contemporary

LERA was the structural engineer for a new 54,700-sf (5,080-sm) art museum and community hub to be located within a new open space park plan in West Philadelphia. The Ground Floor contains an entry lobby and a café, and accommodates community “harbor programs” (such as a bike repair studio); the Second Floor contains a state-of-the-art museum gallery, co-working and community education space, a library and administrative offices; and the Third Floor contains large contemporary gallery space and a white box performance gallery.

To accommodate such a flexible program, the architecture consists of a practical structure of stacked “tables”. The column-free Top Floor galleries are defined by a rooftop truss structure punctuated by skylights. On the exterior, table-like platforms support lightweight shed structures that house activities such as a camera obscura on the education terrace, along with an artist’s green house. On the Third Floor terrace, a recording studio hosts local artists, and can broadcast music for large scale parties and events in the plaza.


Philadelphia, PA



Philadelphia Contemporary



Johnston Marklee – Design Architect;
MGA Partners – Executive Architect

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