Phipps Conservatory Welcome Center

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project at a glance

The two-story, 11,000 square foot Welcome Center was built mostly underground to preserve the view of the historic landmark Palm Court that sits behind.  

The Welcome Center includes a central area for ticketing, a new gift shop, and a café with seating for 80 under a 34’ high glass dome.  The dome evokes the geometry of the historic Conservatory while incorporating fritted, laminated, insulated glass to control glare and heat, it also provides daylight to the entry lobby and ticketing areas below and a dramatic ascent, up limestone stairs, to the Palm Court. The biggest construction challenge was working adjacent to a 100 year old historic glass structure without any glass breakage.

The Palm Court underwent a major restoration consisting of structural work and 3,200 panes of glass were replaced and re-glazed in the Palm Court.

The Welcome Center was awarded Silver LEED certification by the United States Green Building Council. It also was awarded the 2006 Historic Preservation Award.

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