Whether renovation or new construction, it’s the stuff behind the walls and in the ceilings that gives a building life and renders it habitable. The goal of creating comfortable, safe and energy-efficient administrative, academic and student life environments on university and college campuses is a common one. [Read more…]
Constructed in 2001 and located on Independence Mall, the Independence Visitor Center (IVC) welcomes tourists and history buffs alike as they begin their immersion into the city’s storied past.
Over the years the IVC has expanded its resources and volume of displayable information. A recent building analysis by local digital agency Bluecadet sparked a desire for IVC to reinvent itself, with the dual goals of creating a more memorable visitor experience and improving operational functionality.
Reorganization of space and key program elements such as the information desk, ticketing, gift shop, café and restrooms are among the improvements, as are signage and wayfinding devices. The IVC also opted for the installatioin of new media walls and interactive displays to engage visitors and improve circulation throughout the center.
BBA designed the electrical system for the new interactive displays and provided mechanical design for the National Park Service/IVC information center, offices, expanded gift shop and theater. Plumbing and electrical connections were designed for a relocated café, and full services were required for restroom additions. LEED documentation to renew and improve the building’s existing O&M certification was also completed by BBA.
The Visual Culture, Arts and Media (VCAM) project at Haverford College will renovate and adaptively reuse the Old Gym (aka Ryan Gym) to create a flexible learning environment, with aesthetic and maker venues for students, faculty and the public.
Anchored by the Hurford Center for the Arts & Humanities, which will administer its facilities, VCAM will provide classrooms, labs, offices and presentation spaces which will encourage trans-disciplinary creativity in digital media, film, exhibitions, 3D fabrication and material culture. It will also feature a 144-seat multimedia screening and performance room.
Among the project criteria are targeted LEED Gold certification; adaptability to the existing building footprint; hub-centric floor plan; physical and contextual connections with the campus as a whole; and a timeless design which supports VCAM’s program now and in the future with dynamic spaces that inspire visual literacy in students and faculty alike.
In addition to serving as MEP engineer for the design project, BBA also teamed with MSR Design on the pre-design report engagement.
Eastern State Penitentiary is more than 200 years old. It functioned as a state prison until the 1970s and reopened in the 1990s as a museum that focuses on issues in the United States criminal justice system.
In preparation for the three-year exhibition on mass incarceration, “Prisons Today,” BBA renovated a series of inmate workshops which are part of Cellblock 4. Prior to our work, the cellblock had no heat or air conditioning. The new systems were specified and installed in the most unobtrusive manner possible.
The design is also reversible: all mechanical and electrical systems can be removed and the building restored to its original state using demolished material which was carefully labeled and stored.
Light fixtures for the exhibit utilize a high color rendering and high efficiency source for optimal energy conservation. BBA also designed dimmable LED track lighting system for displays to provide sufficient illuminance while maintaining comfortable light levels for the public and staff. Narrow beam LED lamps accent exhibits and wide beam LED lamps provide general lighting.
Designed by Louis Kahn and constructed in 1961, the Richards Medical Research Laboratory is a National Historic Landmark consisting of four towers (A, B, C, and D) in a pinwheel configuration. Driving two separate projects is the fact that Richards has not been comprehensively renovated and is no longer suitable for the wet-bench research for which it was constructed: building systems have served beyond their useful life. Starting with C and D towers, improvements consisted of designing a tenant fitout of the basement, first, second, third, fourth and seventh floors to accommodate four different user groups.
School’s out for the summer, but BBA’s co-ops are hard at work. In fact, they’ve been clocking in every day for almost four months at this point and will continue to do so until September 16. [Read more…]
Swarthmore College held the grand opening of its newest project, the Inn at Swarthmore, on May 4. In addition to the 40-room Inn—the centerpiece of the project— the Swarthmore Campus + Community Store (formerly the bookstore) and the 115-seat Broad Table Tavern are a draw for students, faculty, staff, parents and local residents alike. As the MEP engineer on Cope Linder Architects’ extensive project team, [Read more…]
According to the Bureau of Labor, in 2015 males made up approximately 90 percent of the professionals working in both the mechanical and electrical engineering fields. While girls and boys excel at math and science classes at the same rate in high school, fewer girls choose to pursue engineering in college. Fewer still elect to work in the field after graduation. BBA has a staff of 24 engineers and designers, six of whom are women, accounting for a quarter of the staff. [Read more…]
BBA is proud to announce the recent hiring of three new employees to our team: Robert Hughes, Victoria Fitzgerald Whitesell, and Peter Domingo. [Read more…]
The restoration of Dey Mansion in Wayne, New Jersey has been recognized by the State of New Jersey with a 2016 New Jersey Historic Preservation Award. Constructed between 1740-50 by Dirk Dey as a private residence, it is an amalgam of Dutch and English influences, a rich and dramatic composition of country and urban elements that had few mid-18th century counterparts west of the Hudson River. [Read more…]