Edgar N. Putman Pavilion at Michener Art Museum

Project Type: Museum

Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion
James A. Michener Museum
Doylestown, PA
Architect: KieranTimberlake

Michener Museum opened in 1988 to support and exhibit the cultural heritage of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Named for Doylestown Pulitzer-prize winning writer and supporter of the arts James Michener, the facility was once home to the Bucks County Prison. The Edgar N. Putman Pavilion was completed in 2012 and serves as a premier special events venue for Bucks County. This 2,500 square foot contemporary light-filled, glass space is host to weddings, private parties, special exhibition openings, lectures, and other museum events. The modern structure is a stark contrast to the original and dramatic stone prison walls which date to 1884.

Metropolitan Acoustics was the acoustical and AV consultant for this space which provided some unique opportunities given the three 23 ft glass walls and oak hardwood floor. For the acoustic services, we consulted on the interior room acoustics and designed recommendations to control the mechanical system noise and vibration within the space. The challenges involved keeping the reverberation time to an appropriate level and to design suitable placement of the acoustical materials given the clean, sleek lines of the space.

We also designed the Audio Visual system for the room. Just as glass proposes interesting acoustical challenges, it also presents a handicap to video presentation systems. Compounding this challenge, the space installed only solar shades, not black out shades and the system design had to accommodate both day and evening presentations. The audio system also presented its own special needs with the glass walls.  Metropolitan Acoustics designed the system in a manner that minimizes sound reflecting from the glass walls and back to the listeners.

The Edgar N. Putman Pavilion presented a challenge for Metropolitan Acoustics. However, the challenge and successful design did not go unnoticed – the space was the recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Philadelphia Gold Merit Award for 2012.