This project by tvsdesign is an addition to and rehabilitation of Philadelphia’s historic 1893 Reading Train Shed. As the centerpiece of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the terminal building, Grand Hall, meeting rooms, ballroom and farmer’s market will be joined by a new modern convention center that weaves the style, scale and rhythm of the historic Philadelphiaarchitecture with the new addition.With the goal of integrating this large expansion into the urban context, tvsdesign worked with the City Planning Commission, Department of Streets, Redevelopment Authority, Industrial Development Corporation and City and State Historic Commissions to help design the site to expand the City Center as an extension of the project. The solution presents a dramatic new North Broad Street facade, while reinforcing the City’s important Avenue of the Arts initiative.The expansion of the center onto Broad Street will revitalize the original building while setting a contemporary, forward-looking design theme to define the center’s new presence on Broad Street. The internal organization of the buildings establishes a grand public concourse that is transparent from the street, linking the city life to the activities within the building.
The renovated 100 year old train shed is the connection between Philadelphia’s famous Market Street and serves as the formal entrance and primary focal point of the entire facility. A 30,000 sf ballroom and several meeting rooms are positioned in the north end of the shed, with the remaining space forming a majestic 50,000 sf grand hall for civic, private and convention activities. The floor of the grand hall is a patterned terrazzo with stainless steel rail embeds in the original track locations. Both the ballroom and the grand hall feature the original arched roof structure in lieu of new ceilings for the canopies of these one-ofa-kind spaces. The Reading Train Shed is the oldest long-span roof structure in the world, and its preservation and revitalization has helped this area of the city grow, securing the future of the cultural landmark with a new use.
Date opened: 1994
Services provided: Full architectural and interior