In a ceremony this week, the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion its highest honor: a Gold Medal for Design Excellence.
Dedicated in April 2012, the Putman Event Pavilion is a 3,400 square-foot addition used for public programs and private rental space at the James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA. The museum's grounds, on the site of the old Bucks County Prison, feature three 23-foot fieldstone walls that were left behind after the prison was demolished. Today, the walls form the periphery of the sculpture garden. The design and technology for the addition were driven by the dual goals of preserving seamless views of the stone walls and providing the best thermal performance within the Pavilion.
The distinguished jury of architects included Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville, Arkansas; Rand Elliott, FAIA, Elliot + Associates, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Andrew Wells, AIA, Dake Wells Architecture, Springfield, Missouri; Reese Rowland, AIA, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, Little Rock, Arkansas; and Jennifer Herron, AIA, Herron-Horton Architects, Little Rock, Arkansas.
They commented on the “clarity of the idea and its restrained, yet obviously very difficult resolution that allows the space to be the star [and focuses] on an incredible stone wall that would normally be ignored.” They further offered that, “It would have been so easy to extend the glass walls to the courtyard wall, but it doesn't, which does more to celebrate [the wall's] texture and materiality.”
The team for the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion included CVM Engineers, Structural Engineer; Bruce Brooks & Associates, M/P/E/FP; Carroll Engineering Corporation, Civil Engineer; OLIN, Landscape Architect; Sean O'Connor Lighting, Inc., Lighting Designer; Metropolitan Acoustics, LLC, AV/Acoustics; Dewhurst MacFarlane, Curtainwall Consultant; and Adams-Bickel Associates, Inc., Construction Manager.