Completed July 2017
Robert A.M. Stern Architects
Intech Construction, Inc.
BASWA Phon Installer
The Museum of the American Revolution, positioned on the corner of Philadelphia’s bustling Historic District, was designed to connect tourists with the American Revolution through education and architecture. Robert A.M Stern Architects dutifully designed the 118,000-square-foot museum with the intent to introduce visitors to the American Revolution through stunning displays of historical artifacts, such as George Washington’s war tent, multimedia immersive theaters, and several floors of exhibition space. Furthermore, RAMSA designed the building to encapsulate the architectural environment that existed during the American Revolution, while also adapting the building to sustainable innovations of the 21st century and tourist needs.
The exterior of the museum is characterized by designs indicative of the Founding Father-era and accompanied by an outdoor café to engage passing by tourist, and establish the museum as a fun and intriguing way to interpret history. Once inside, the space encompasses a more formal tone with a terrazzo-tiled rotunda, a two-story spiral staircase winding towards a large skylit atrium, over 18,000-square-feet of exhibit space, and a third-floor event space intended for social events. The innovative space follows best practices for sustainable museum design to target LEED Gold Certification, using state-of-the-art storage and conservation spaces throughout the design. In addition, the Museum hired expert acoustical and audio consulting firm SH Acoustics to achieve an enhanced sonic experience in the key theater and permanent exhibit spaces. Furthermore, the museum worked closely with the BASWA acoustic team to compile the necessary documentation in order to achieve LEED standards specifically regarding acoustics, in the pursuit of LEED Gold Certification.
By recommendation of both SH Acoustics and Shen Milsom Wilke, co-acoustical consultant, BASWA Phon sound absorbing plaster was utilized throughout the museum’s architectural and theater spaces. Materials such as stone and terrazzo used throughout the structure, provided an excessively reverberant space. Through the use of BASWA Phon, reverberant sounds were minimized creating an acoustically sound space for patrons, and achieving LEED standards for acoustics within the space. In addition, the seamless acoustic treatment integrated with the intended design of the architect without obstructing historical architectural design. When asked about their choice of BASWA Phon within the space Steve Haas, Principal Consultant of SH Acoustics stated, “With our extensive experience in specifying BASWA Phon for many critical museum spaces, and our understanding that Robert A.M. Stern Architects was also quite familiar with the product, we were able to support its use throughout the Museum of the American Revolution as a highly-aesthetic and very effective acoustic finish to meet the needs for reverberant control in the theaters and general sound build-up from patrons and special events in the exhibit and related public spaces.”
The soon to be LEED Certified Museum of the American Revolution, built with occupant health and safety in mind, is now open to the public. The façade, innovatively designed to transport patrons to another time is sure to attract guests for years to come.