“A very successful project that fits in with the industrial past, not blowing it away but actually playing off it.”
– 2017 Awards Jury
The SteelStacks Arts + Cultural Campus rose from the shadows of the former Bethlehem Steel Plant, invigorating the region through the transformation of an abandoned industrial site into a vibrant, urban, arts and entertainment destination. The project demonstrates the power of design to catalyze community revitalization, by paying homage to the history and integrity of the site, and allowing visitors the opportunity to once again stand at the foot of the iconic Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces. The project seamlessly knits together the reinvented steel plant site with an established neighborhood and its commercial corridor, building a heightened sense of community across the City of Bethlehem and Lehigh Valley region.
▲场地平面图（1期+2期工程），site plan (phase1+phase2)
改造的关键部分是构建一条贯穿园区的曲线型道路，同时要创造出足够的空间，以满足Levitt Pavilion露天剧场容纳2500名观众的需要，并使其与园区主入口Founders Way位于同一条轴线上。这一做法不仅将带来独特的交通流线，同时也能使炼钢炉成为一处强大的背景。增建的Hoover-Mason栈桥将使游客在空中步道上充分享受园区的最佳视野，将园区周围的历史建筑和重要景观尽收眼底。
• 一个朝向PBS 39大楼的阅读和剧场空间，用于户外活动。
• Levitt Pavilion露天剧场，作为园区的核心区域，这里每年夏天会举办50场免费的家庭音乐会，同时在没有活动的时候作为社区的娱乐场地。
该设计为场地带来了惊人且积极的影响，最重要的一点是，它为当地居民和游客建立了一种社区意识，让原本废弃的场地重新恢复了活力。园区成为了伯利恒游客中心的前院，并促进了与之合作的非营利组织（PBS39：Lehigh Valley的公共演播厅，以及 ArtsQuest：一家提供艺术教学和艺术表演的机构）在公共领域的发展。这些组织如今与园区中新成立的非营利组织（包括Friends of Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks和Penn State Master Gardeners）以及Discover Lehigh Valley 达成了合作，共同为园区提供景观维护、资金筹措以及游客服务等。在环境影响方面，共赢式的发展模式使这一重新开发的项目兼具了创新性和可持续性。
▲在伯利恒钢铁厂停工20年之后，场地被改造为全新的SteelStacks艺术及文化园区，炼钢炉和其它具有历史意义的钢厂建筑被保留下来，20 years after Bethlehem Steel ceased operation, the site has been transformed to the SteelStacks Arts & Cultural Campus that features preserved blast furnaces and other historic steel mill buildings.
▲园区将历史建筑与现代建筑并置于开阔的场地中，包括作为表演场地的Levitt Pavilion露天剧场，The campus features a mixture of historic and modern structures surrounding open space that includes an outdoor performing arts amphitheater, the Levitt Pavilion.
▲钢制楼梯和升降梯成为了园区内的新地标，将游客引至Hoover-Mason栈桥公园：一座1/3英里长的空中步道，An iconic steel staircase and elevator have become a landmark on campus, welcoming visitors to the Hoover-Mason Trestle Park, a 1/3 mile long elevated pedestrian promenade.
▲伯利恒游客中心位于改造后的仓库前方。楼梯在上方与步道相连，造型宛如“订书钉”的定制灯具将游客从栈桥引向Levitt Pavilion露天剧场，The plaza in front of the restored Stock House, now home to the Bethlehem Visitor Center. The staircase bridges over the walkway, guiding visitors to the Levitt Pavilion along with “Staples”, custom pedestrian light fixtures.
▲炼钢炉为观众提供了一个戏剧化的背景。园区自2011年春季开放以来，已有超过一百万人参与了1750多场音乐表演、电影放映以及社区节日的庆祝活动，The Blast Furnaces create a dramatic backdrop for welcoming audiences. Since its opening in spring 2011, more than one million people have enjoyed 1,750+ musical performances, films, community celebrations and festivals.
▲园区内的广场提供了各种各样的表演和活动场地。ArtsQuest大楼上反射出炼钢炉的影子，为音乐表演提供了别具一格的舞台场景，ArtsPlazas on the SteelStacks Campus provide venues for a variety of performances and events. Music performances on the ArtsQuest Plaza have created unique stage settings by reflecting views of the Blast Furnaces on the ArtsQuest Building.
▲入口大门处巨大的“HMT” 黄色标识开启了游客在36英尺高空的旅程。这一高高架起的公园开放于2015年6月25日，A big, yellow “HMT” sign on the entrance gate welcomes visitors to the journey, 36 feet above the ground. The elevated park opened to the public on June 25, 2015.
▲Hoover-Mason栈桥位于伯利恒钢厂原有的铁轨上方；曾经的栈桥被用于向炼钢炉运送材料，The Hoover-Mason Trestle is placed above and in some places next to the former elevated Bethlehem Steel rail line; the original Trestle was used to deliver raw materials to the blast furnaces to produce steel
▲三座楼梯中的一座提供了一处观景平台，使游客能够看到鼓风机房内的景象，巨大的引擎和轮子均在此得以保留，One of three stairs provides a viewing platform where visitors enjoy the interior view of the former Blower House, where rows of giant gas powered engines and wheels remain from the time when they stopped their operations
▲历史讲解标识贯穿了整个园区，讲述了关于旧钢铁厂房的史实，使游客对脚下的道路产生一种敬意，Historic Interpretation signs are installed all the way through the park with historic and educational facts about the old Steel Plant grounds, giving visitors a unique appreciation for the hallowed ground they are walking over.
▲栈桥上的花槽围绕着既有的树木设置，季节性的植物为全年带来不同的观赏乐趣，使游客能够欣赏到多样且充满变化的栈桥风景，The planters are laid out by framing around the exiting trees on the trestle structure. A highly seasonable native plant selection provides year-round interest and entertains visitors with diverse and dynamic views on the Trestle.
▲金属材质的步道平行于既有铁轨的路径，夜晚的灯光将下方巨大的箱体凸显出来，Respecting the linearity of the rail tracks, new metal grating walkways run parallel immediately above the existing tracks and the lighting highlights the large existing bins below at night time.
▲炼钢炉和园区在灯光下显得格外亮丽，即使在没有特殊活动的时间里也吸引着游客前来观赏，The blast furnaces and Steelstacks Campus are beautifully lit at night, featuring historical elements, and drawing visitors to the site even when there are no events scheduled.
▲栈桥上的木制座椅装有高大的靠背，为游客提供了观赏历史性建筑的地点，Wood seating elements with high-backs are laid out through the HMT at the point where we intend to highlight specific views for the historic elements and site surroundings.
▲从Sands赌场望向园区，炼钢炉背后是Lehigh河与伯利恒城区。Levitt Pavilion露天剧场每年要举办超过50场免费音乐会，Campus looking from Sands Casino, with the Lehigh River and Bethlehem neighborhoods behind Blast Furnaces. More than 50 free concerts are held at the Levitt Pavilion each year
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation was a 20th century industrial powerhouse that operated facilities around the globe. It was founded in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley in 1857, occupying 1,800 acres along the Lehigh River. In 1995, the Bethlehem Steel Corporation stopped its steel-making operations in Bethlehem, closed the plant and brought to an end a long history that shaped the livelihoods, family life, and blue-collar culture of thousands of Lehigh Valley residents. In an effort to revitalize the site for future uses, the campus worked within the existing fabric of the abandoned site, while selectively transforming key site elements to offer new perspectives and experiences, creating a unique community-space for the 21st century.
The 9.5 acre SteelStacks Arts + Cultural Campus is located directly in front of the monumental blast furnaces that have dominated the Bethlehem skyline for more than a century. The Campus sits within Bethlehem Works, a 126-acre parcel that was established as a 20-year tax incremental finance district (TIF) in 2000. Bethlehem Works is part of the largest brownfield in the U.S.: the 1,800-acre former steel plant operated by Bethlehem Steel Corp, which occupies 20 percent of the City of Bethlehem’s real estate (city population: 75,000).
Over the past 10 years, the Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority oversaw the development of new industrial parks and intermodal transportation facilities on large parcels at the eastern end of the former plant. Bethlehem Works occupies the western end of the former plant, and is nestled against the city’s well-established South Side neighborhood, which includes the former plant’s oldest surviving and most historically significant structures including five 20-story-tall blast furnaces (the SteelStacks).
The Campus officially opened in July, 2011, but the scope and size of the campus is part of an ongoing transformation. Currently, three phases have been completed: 21st Century Park (2009), the Levitt Pavilion and Amphitheater, an outdoor amphitheater designed integrally with the campus (Opened 2012 – 9.5 Acres), and Phase 1 of the Hoover-Mason Trestle (Opened 2015 – 25,000sf elevated pedestrian promenade).
The Landscape Architect was the prime consultant for the design of the campus, plaza, and Levitt Pavilion grounds. In this capacity, the LA managed a multidisciplinary team of consultants including artists, lighting designers, graphic designers, engineers and soil remediation specialists. The LA also coordinated the work of an in-house architectural team working on the Levitt Pavilion structure and the Hoover-Mason Trestle, as well as architects and engineers working simultaneously on the ArtsQuest, PBS39, and Visitor Center buildings.
A key transformation was curving the roadway that traverses the campus, which created the requisite space for the 2,500-person Levitt amphitheater and its placement on axis with Founders Way, the main entry from the town. Not only does this create a unique circulation experience, but it allows the SteelStacks to serve as a powerful backdrop. The addition of the Hoover-Mason Trestle allowed visitors the ability to experience an entirely new vantage point on the site, from a promenade designed to frame and focus views outward toward items of historical and contextual importance around the campus.
While the campus is a unifying landscape, discrete areas were conceived to facilitate a diverse, flexible, and active range of programs (as of 2016, over 1.5-million visitors participate in campus events each year), including:
· An entry court facing the Visitor Center for gathering and site orientation;
· A “flex” event space adjoining the ArtsQuest building for smaller performances, outdoor dining, and overflow event space for indoor/outdoor events;
· A reading and theater space facing PBS 39 for outdoor programs
· The integration of public art to engage the community and site, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts
· A family picnic and play area facing a section of the Blower House
· The Hoover-Mason Trestle, an elevated pedestrian promenade which allows visitors to walk through the industrial archeology of the site along the same path that the raw materials to produce steel were delivered
·Interpretive signage and wayfinding devices throughout the project, including an interactive digital application to deliver audio tours, oral histories, and a database of historical images and interpretive data [hoovermason.com]
· The Levitt Pavilion amphitheater as the campus centerpiece, which organizes 50 free family-friendly concerts each summer, and also functions as a community playfield during non-events
The overriding design intent was to create an extraordinary setting capturing the stunning scale and mass of the SteelStacks as a backdrop for year-round festivals, art events, and music performances. Of paramount importance was the transformation of the site from daytime to evening and nighttime experiences, creating a welcoming public center that draws families and individuals, locally and regionally.
Much like this area of the site worked as a component of the much larger Bethlehem Steel plant, the repurposed campus serves to enhance the site and the community of Bethlehem, by preserving the history and integrity of the site, and allowing visitors [including an entire legacy of former Bethlehem Steel workers and their families] the opportunity to once again inhabit the site, and stand at the foot of the iconic Bethlehem SteelStacks.
In consideration of summer weather, shade trees were located by the entry court, picnic and play areas of the plaza, allowing the SteelStacks to remain in full view from the main gathering and performance areas. Self-rusting weathering steel, galvanized steel, dark pavers, granite, concrete and molten-like bonded aggregate define the material palette at the ground plane in an effort to evoke the tough and rugged spirit of the place.
The Hoover-Mason Trestle structure was designed to tread-lightly over the existing structure. All new surfaces and planters are supported by a new steel structure that attaches at the location of the existing rail tracks, and the new structural steel was designed in weathering steel to blend with the existing SteelStacks, and allow the walkways to visually float above the structure, as a clearly identifiable new structure, juxtaposing new and old. Respecting the linearity of the rail tracks, metal-grating walkways run parallel immediately above the tracks, encouraging people to look down and acknowledge the existing site.
The site offered many environmental challenges, due to the presence of soils that could not be disturbed or penetrated, except in isolated cases. Large areas of existing building foundations were removed, exchanging impervious cover for pervious, and minimizing the generation of storm runoff. Plantings were brought to the site where none existed beforehand, increasing the site’s biomass, and a low level of illumination was accepted as a way to minimize energy consumption. Socially, the project has engaged the local community, offering a “town green” for future uses that will bring new urban life to the heart of Bethlehem in support of regional smart growth initiatives. The project’s success is contributing to the sustainability of the campus’s tenants, spurring private development in abandoned buildings and sites adjacent to the campus, while also bolstering existing businesses in the surrounding neighborhood.
The design brings a tremendous positive impact to the site, most importantly revitalizing an abandoned site in a way that both educates and creates a sense of community for both local inhabitants, and visitors. The campus serves as a forecourt for the Bethlehem Visitor Center, and has enabled its nonprofit partners (PBS39 – , the Lehigh Valley’s public television studio; and ArtsQuest – an institution providing year-round art education and performances) to expand their public programs, which has strengthened these organizations. They now work with newly established campus nonprofits (including Friends of Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks, and Penn State Master Gardeners) and Discover Lehigh Valley to provide landscape maintenance, funding, and support services to visitors. Their combined success, along with an ongoing commitment from the city, ensures that this redevelopment project is not only innovative but also sustainable in terms of its environmental impact.
Artist (Fire Sculptures)
Metropolitan Acoustics LLC
Environmental Acoustics, Inc.
Boyle Construction Inc. (HMT, Levitt Pavilion and Amphitheater, PNC Plaza)
Alvin H. Butz, Inc. (ArtsQuest Plaza, PBS39 Plaza, Parking)
Preservation Architect: Artefact, Inc.
Structural Engineering: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger [SGH]
Structural / Survey Engineering: Maser Consulting P.A.
Civil / Environmental Engineering: HDR Engineering
Structural / Restoration Engineering: Klein and Hoffman, Inc.
MEP Engineering: Lehigh Valley Engineering, Inc.
Lighting Designer: L’Observatoire International
Historic Interpretation Design: Local Project
Historic Interpretation Design: Bluecadet
Horticulture Consultant: Patrick Cullina
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