Featuring an architectural weave of 26
interconnected buildings built between
1860 and the late 1890s on 16 acres, MASS
MoCA has evolved in stages. Phase 3, unveiled in May 2017, is massive Building 6,
or B6: The Robert W. Wilson Building.
The $55 million renovation of this massive
three-story former textile warehouse added
150,000 square feet of gallery and other
space, nearly doubling the museum’s footprint to 250,000 square feet. The new building includes all reused, original hardwood
factory floors and more than 5,000 original
bricks that were removed and then remor-tared in place. Like other buildings, B6
incorporates solar and other green technologies. Replacing the roof, the 140-foot-long,
20-foot-wide skylight floods the heart of the
building with natural light. There are even
new green rooms for the many musicians
and artists performing here year-round.
On the economic and social side—both
Prague Congress Center
fundamental components of sustainabil-
ity—MASS MoCA continues to stimulate
job growth, tourism and redevelopment in
North Adams, which experienced a lasting
downturn after the site’s last tenant, the
famed Sprague Electric Company, closed
in 1985. For more on MASS MoCA, see our
destination coverage of The Berkshires in
next month’s issue.
Prague, Czech Republic
Offering 20 halls and 50 rooms, including
the 2,764-capacity Congress Hall, and more
than 42,000 square feet of versatile exhibition
space, this spacious and scenic venue, accommodating up to 9,300 delegates, is the largest
convention facility in the Czech Republic.
To counter public perceptions that it
was also “a giant that devours an endless
amount of energy,” the facility recently
undertook an extensive reconstruction
and modernization of its heating, cooling,
ventilation and lighting systems.
Completed in spring 2017, the roughly
$5.6 million investment is already paying
dividends, with savings on energy costs,
already at 30 percent of where they were in
2013, quickly exceeding expectations.
Earning EKO Gold certification for its total
renewably resourced electrical supply, the
center’s internal environment is also healthier.
Monitored by technicians, a new intelli-
gent control system precisely regulates the
performance of updated engines, cooling
machines and heat sources in response to
variable factors such as the weather, occu-
pancy levels of rooms, hallways and other
areas, and carbon dioxide levels in the air.
Unique features include the filtering of
dust, pollen and other allergens from fresh
outside air drawn into the air conditioning
system before it is distributed throughout
the facility. Lighting upgrades included
sensor-controlled LED systems in the base-
ment, corridors and parking garage that
dim or brighten according to the move-
ment of people and cars.
“We are not indifferent to what we
leave behind,” stated Lenka Zlebkova, the
center’s sales and marketing director, in a
press release. “We want to be environmentally friendly and socially responsible, and
to promote good things to the same extent
as we strive to provide our clients with the
best conditions, safety and comfort while
organizing their meetings.”
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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC