The last decade has seen an ever-increasing demand for events and experiences in unique locations. This phenomenon is even more pronounced with wedding couples seeking a special venue for their ceremony, banquet and after party. The demand is being met by creating event centers on the grounds of National Historic Landmarks, with dramatic views of the existing buildings. The ideal solution for such a building places a glass enclosed pavilion next to an artistically illuminated landmark building. Among the challenges in transforming this goal into reality involves designing the new structure to be compliant with our energy conservation codes. The energy code limits the percentage of glass allowed in the walls and roof for a permanent building to serve an assembly occupancy group. Building codes do allow for temporary buildings with limited HVAC systems to be used for this purpose. Tents with clear panels used in temperate weather resolve the conflicting code requirements.
The new Event Center at Mercer Museum places a transparent tent structure in a renovated courtyard adjacent to the iconic 1916 Doylestown museum and the 2011 Changing Exhibits and Great Hall addition. The courtyard occupies a floor level midway between the floor of the Great Hall and the floor of the ground floor of the museum. The renovations and additions expand the footprint of the new Event Center to hold approximately 150 people, while introducing an accessible route up from the Great Hall to the new space. The final construction creates a spectacular space for celebrations surrounded by Henry Mercer’s masterpiece.
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