When designing the new Devon Yard in Chester County, Pennsylvania, NewStudio Architecture was faced with a seemingly impossible task. They needed to create a “light and airy greenhouse feel” for occupants, while meeting strict local energy codes. NewStudio was concepting more than just a typical shopping mall — Devon Yard is Anthropologie’s first ever “lifestyle center,” built near its original 1992 retail store.
Incorporating local materials, including Pennsylvania field stone and reclaimed barnwood, was important to the brand known for its homey and rustic, modern farmhouse decor. But, architect Erin Grammas, NewStudio Architecture, St. Paul, knew she couldn’t exclusively use a standing-seam, metal barn roof for the project.
“We originally looked at single-ply corrugated poly, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to meet any energy codes, and traditional, corrugated roofing for a green yard wouldn’t work here either. Occupants would get really uncomfortable, really fast,” said architect Erin Grammas. Luckily, NewStudio had partnered with Kingspan Light + Air on previous projects when they needed to meet energy codes, so Grammas knew who to call.
Why the Quadwall® skylight system?
NewStudio met the challenge with 2,680 square feet of Quadwall skylight system in the two main indoor/outdoor spaces at the heart of the lifestyle center. The system provides a welcoming and airy atmosphere to offset the areas with a standing seam metal roof, while significantly reducing glare and added heat, and diffusing natural daylight indoors.
Kingspan’s ice-white glazed, two-panel Quadwall translucent skylight system is constructed so that panels are independent of one another, but also mechanically connected to the system’s internal support structure. This removeable skin technology (RST) feature ensures that if there is a future need to update the exterior, those panels can be changed without interrupting ongoing business operations while maintaining the integrity of the system. The flexibility to replace individual panels as needed, rather than the entire system, makes Quadwall extremely versatile and significantly increases its lifespan.
Creating the Devon Yard experience
Devon Yard opened in September 2018 next to the iconic Devon Horse Show grounds, and quickly became a local town center. With detailing that blends into the local landscape, Devon Yard, as one local newspaper said: “seems almost as if it’s always been there.” From exposed beams to the Quadwall and standing seam metal roof combination, this unusual space came to life through extensive coordination between a team of structural engineers, architects and Kingspan Light + Air designers.
“The result looks nice and clean, but we spent a lot of time coordinating the standing seam metal roof, the Quadwall and different wall types to make sure we met the energy standards and aesthetic we wanted. It was an engineering feat that resulted in the destination place it is today,” said Grammas.
Anchored by a flagship Anthropologie retail store, Devon Yards boasts five structures, featuring two fine eateries, a home/garden shop and more. Brought together around a central courtyard, with a style suggestive of both pastoral farmhouses and modern greenhouses, Devon Yard is elegantly simple.
“It was an engineering feat that resulted in the destination place it is today.” – Erin Grammas, Architect NewStudio Architecture.
Project: Anthropologie’s Devon Yard Lifestyle Center
Location: Devon, PA
Architect: NewStudio Architecture
General Contractor: Black Rock Construction
Product: Quadwall® Translucent Skylight
Sq. Ft.: 2,680