This is a studio design research project I completed while pursuing my masters degree.






The Dorrance H. Hamilton Roof Terrace (mango terrace) project is a prominent component of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts 2009 Master Plan, which describes a number of projects whose goal is to enliven and better utilize the existing building.  The vision for the terrace is to transform the open sky terrace into a vibrant ballroom-type space for privatge rental, thereby increasing the potential for revenue.  An architecturally significant enclosure with visual transparency to the larger glass vault is conceptualized.  It will be Philadelphia's most desirable venue for galas, weddings and daytime business functions, and will increase the appeal as a civic space as initially intended.


Two primary aspects of the terrace , as currently open to the larger plaza interior; have prevented this unique space from reaching its fullest potential.  Party event noise is easily transmitted by the vaulted roof form to the plaza, creating an undesirable ambience for simultaneuous orchestra or other performance.  Additionally, extreme temperatures during the majority of the year make the space uncomfortable.


The new addition will enhance the elegance and vitality of the entire Center, and address acoustic and thermal comfort problems in order to improve the functionality of the Terrace and increase event rental throughout the year.


The overall goal is to create an environment to support maximum opportunities for rental groups that are looking for the open sky lit venue.  This requires a space that will not be restricted by limitations of time or ambiance.  Key design drivers for this unique location are to provide acoustic separation and thermal comfort while maintaining a sense of openness.


Mango Terrace technology


The Mango Terrace innovates ETFE technology by using an inert gas (rather than air) to inflate the ETFE foils.  This gas is then used to light the foils similar to an flourescent lamp.


Video of the Mango Terrace technology in operation click here