Questions and Answers

All questions submitted by entrants during the competition will be posted here, along with the official response.

Entrants should send questions to

Question 1

Q: Should it be assumed that the Dilworth House will still be the Athenaeum's neighbor to the south in the year 2050?

A: It is not required that entrants include the Dilworth House in their plans.  Entrants are free to assume that the Athenaeum has a different neighbor  (or no neighbor) in the future.

Question 2

Q: An entrant has requested to see drawings of the current Athenaeum building.

A: You can right-click the following links to download drawings of the Athenaeum.

Perspective Rendering, John Notman, Architect, 1845 (13MB)

Elevations and Sections, John Notman, Architect, 1845 (105MB)

Floor Plans, John Notman, Architect 1845 (123MB)

Current Floor Plans (2MB)

Question 3

Q: Do entrants need to follow current zoning or environmental codes?

A: Since this is a concept project for the year 2050, entrants need not feel compelled to follow 2014 era codes.

Question 4

Q: Is there a height limit?

A: No.

Question 5

Q: Can the building cantilever over the Dilworth and Lippincott properties above a certain height?

A: No, the competion is confined to an area that measures 56' x 196'  (See the "Site" section of the program).

Question 6

Q: Is this an idea based competition?

A: Yes.

Question 7

Q: Is there a cost limitation?

A: No.

Question 8

Q: Is there a program with SFT or we are to deduce from what has been provided and observe best practices?

A: The square footage of the current building and collections is available on the fact sheet. In terms of the building you are designing, the program states "In addition to considering the Athenæum of 2014, participants are encouraged to imagine how library services in general and the Athenæum’s services in particular may change by 2050. Appropriate spaces should be included in the design to accommodate the entrant’s vision."  The entrant's design should accomodate all of the Athenaeum's 2014 collections (on and off site), as well as potential collection growth between 2014 and 2050.

Question 9

Q: May the metric system be used for measurements?

A: Yes, you may use the metric system.

Question 10

Q: Several entrants have asked for architectural drawings of buildings adjacent to the Athenaeum.

A: You can right-click the following links to download a few drawings of those buildings.

Penn Mutual Building, 530 Walnut St., Plan of First Story, Edgar V. Seeler, Architect 1913. (16MB)

Penn Mutual Building, 530 Walnut St., Walnut and St. James St. Elevations, Edgar V. Seeler, Architect, 1913. (18MB)

Penn Mutual Building, 530 Walnut St., Sixth St. Elevation, Edgar V. Seeler, Architect, 1913. (17MB)

Richardson Dilworth House, 223-225 S. Sixth St., North and West Elevations, G. Edwin Brumbaugh, Architect, 1957. (47MB)

Property Survey, Barton & Martin, Engineers, 2000. (37MB)

Question 11

Q: An entrant has requested photographs of the site showing its relationship with surrounding buildings.

A: (39MB)

Question 12

Q: Is the Athenaeum logo allowed to be used in the layout?

A: Yes.

Question 13

Q: Is there any CAD file available of the site and its surroundings : plans, sections and elevations?

A: We do not have CAD files for the site or the surrounding buildings, however, we have provided a site plan and architectural drawings of some surrounding buildings under question 10.

Question 14

Q: An entrant has asked about the various uses of rooms in the current Athenaeum building.

A:  Under Question 2, we provided current Athenaeum Floor plans. 

On the first floor plan: Room 118 is the Exhibition Gallery, Rooms 108 and 111 are the Regional Digital Imaging Center, Room 107 is the Board Room.  All other unmarked rooms on the first floor are offices.

On the second floor plan: The Busch Room (201) serves as the Reference Room and doubles as a space for lectures/programs. The Director's Room is now used for collection storage.  The Members Reading Room (203) is the main library room, and often doubles as a place where receptions are held before or after programs.

On the third floor plan: Room 306 is used as office space and the conservation department.  All other rooms are collection storage.

On the basement plan: Rooms 002, 004, 005, 007, 010 are used for collection storage, all others not labeled are general storage and mechanical rooms.

Question 15

Q: An entrant has asked if we can provide floor plans of the Lippincott Building.

A: The Athenaeum does not have architectural drawings of the Lippincott Building in its collection.

Question 16

Q: An entrant has asked if PDF is an acceptable format for submission of drawings.

A: In the program, we originally required that drawings be submitted as TIF or JPG files.  We have reconsidered and will now accept TIF, JPG or PDF.  PDF files must still meet the size requirements. Check your settings to be sure that you are not over-compressing your file or images, and that you are embedding any fonts you might use.  Please be sure that the files are printable at full size. 

This change does not apply to the Statement and Assumption, which must be submitted as DOC (or DOCX) files.