In the heart of downtown Bethlehem, PA, is the historic Hotel Bethlehem, a stately brick structure that has been serving visitors to the state's Lehigh Valley since 1922. Listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservations as a Historic Hotel of America, every decision made about the building's appearance has a special significance.
Just off the hotel's main lobby, guests see the Terrace Room. The space features dramatic floor-to-ceiling palladium windows that provide abundant natural light, 30-foot high ceilings and original Moravian tiles crafted by the Lehigh Valley's first European settlers.
For its elegance and timeless ambience, the room is often chosen as the site for major news announcements. And, with a capacity for about 150 people and grand views of the Lehigh Valley, it's also a popular selection for wedding receptions and corporate events.
But with the increased use of audio/visual equipment and projection screens in the space, a major challenge was beginning to develop for the Terrace Room. The beautiful palladium windows that are such a selling point for the space also made watching any video presentation virtually impossible during the day. To deal with the issue, the hotel would mount temporary pipe and drape to block out the light. That solved the glare problem, but detracted from the grandeur of the room. Worse, there was a three-day waiting period between ordering and installing the pipe and drape.
Patrick Ryan, the hotel's director of sales and marketing, got in touch with Lutron Electronics to develop a solution to the Terrace Room's problems. Lutron's Customer Engineer, Joe Seneca, arrived to oversee the Hotel Bethlehem project. Seneca saw that the Terrace Room's five windows were 113.5 inches wide by 111 inches tall. Arches topped each window. Working with West Side Electrical Service, Bethlehem, for licensed electrical work, Seneca and Ryan decided five Sivoia QED shades would suit the requirements of the project.
Sivoia QED shades, introduced in 2003, are engineered to provide elegant and precise movement through enhanced digital technology. The Sivoia QED family includes rollers shades, Roman shades and drapery track systems. Sivoia QED shades feature a low-voltage electronic drive concealed within the roller tube or as an external drive on the drapery track. The system offers near silent operation and intelligent control through seeTouch keypads, IR remotes or integration with Lutron lighting control systems. The system can be programmed with preset positions for the most effective control of daylight in space.
Because the hotel is a historic building-and because it is in a historic section of the city-great care went into the selection of the fabric and color of the shades. After all, they would be seen clearly from outside the hotel.
The hotel selected Lutron's PVC-free Blackout Premiere with flocked backing, a fabric with a subtle, sandy hue called Mississippi, which blends with the stately design of the space. The shades are white on the exterior-facing side, which saves energy by reflecting sunlight back out the widow.
Because it is a blackout fabric, no light can pass through. To ensure that no light at all enters the room when the shades are down, the fabric runs between side channels and the exposed, extruded aluminum hem bar comes to rest behind a sill angle. The rollers themselves are housed within the fascia with a top-back cover that is mounted on the mullion between the widow and the window arch above it.
NO MORE PIPE AND DRAPE
The arches presented a unique challenge to Seneca and his team. To block the light entering the space through the arches, special wooden frames were designed and fitted with the shade fabric. Bachman Drapery Studios, Tylersport, PA, designed the arch fittings and concealed the stitching with decorative gimping.
The shades were wired back to an SVQ-10-PNL power panel and are controlled by a five-button seeTouch standalone keypad.