Metal Architecture Home

Museums, Libraries and Cultural Centers

Levitt Pavilion at SteelStacks, Bethlehem, Pa.

steelstacksLocated near the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Co., the Levitt Pavilion at SteelStacks in Bethlehem, Pa., serves as a civic band shelter. Opened in July 2011, the pavilion sits on the campus of SteelStacks, an arts and cultural complex. The pavilion's cantilevered, multi-angled rooftop is designed from perforated stainless steel panels supplied and fabricated by Tampa, Fla.-based McNICHOLS Co., and fashioned to pay homage to the towering blast furnaces that loom 22 stories behind the structure.

The 240, 11-gauge McNICHOLS Designer Metal stainless steel perforated metal panels are attached in varying shapes of steel angles that are attached to posts 6 inches above the rubberized roof membrane. With its 1/4-inch openings and 0.375-inch staggered centers, the panels take on a translucent quality. "The material changes appearance according to where light hits," says Antonio Fiol-Silva, lead project architect and principal at Philadelphia- based architecture firm, Wallace, Roberts & Todd.

McNICHOLS custom cut the panels using shop drawings from steel detailer, Lehigh Valley Technical Associates, Northampton, Pa., which had been created from the structural engineer's drawings. The shop drawing process for the steel and fittings was created by the structural engineer, Matthew H. Johnson, associate principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Waltham, Mass.

The steel detailing created the greatest challenge, says Ken Duerholz, vice president of Boyle Construction, Allentown, Pa., the construction manager. "The third level of steel had to be exact, otherwise the panels would not fit," he notes. Temporary shoring posts were used during the cantilevered steel construction.

The primary structure is comprised of wide flange steel columns and tubular beam members that create the overall geometric look. The secondary structure is made of steel tubes and angles that support an acoustic metal deck, plywood and roofing system. The third structure is a system of angles that float above the roof on steel posts. It is framed like a raised deck, but detailed to support perforated stainless steel panels.

The project has earned three AIA Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and N.Y. /N.J./Pa. Tri-State awards. Bracy Contracting Inc., Allentown, was the general contractor; Levan Associates, Emmaus, Pa., fabricated the steel; Klein & Hoffman, Philadelphia, and Keystone Consulting, Bethlehem, served as the civil engineers; and Lehigh Valley Engineering, Bethlehem, was the MEP engineer.

MCNICHOLS Co.,
www.mcnichols.com