Historic Hotel, Revolving Door Retrofit

At the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, a lobby renovation provided the opportunity to boost aesthetics and improve energy efficiency.

Several years back, the Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA underwent a complete lobby renovation. This provided the opportunity for the hotel to improve energy efficiency by reducing demand on the HVAC system, while boosting the aesthetics of the hotel lobby. Chosen for the project was the Boon Edam Tournex revolving door. The Tournex from Boon Edam, a provider of security entrances and architectural revolving doors, is an example of a classic automatic revolving door and is designed to handle high capacity applications.revolving doors

The historic building housing the Warwick originally had a manual revolving door flush with the building’s facade. At some point, it was decided to remove the relatively smaller gauge revolving door and replace the entrance with a double set of sliding doors.

“Our HVAC system was designed for a revolving door entrance,” says Ray Hewitt, the hotel’s director of engineering. “We wanted to put a revolving door back in to address the negative pressure we were experiencing in the lobby.” That negative pressure was pulling in cold air during the winter months, and cooled, conditioned air was escaping out the double doors in the summer.

During the lobby renovation, designers worked to return to a revolving door lobby entrance. Because the Warwick is in a historic building, they could not change the facade of the building, so they pushed the entire entrance into the lobby itself. The architects and the designer chose the 12′ diameter Boon Edam Tournex automatic revolving door, with three door wings and a highly polished (mirror) stainless steel finish. This door is enclosed in a glass cube, accented with purple neon lighting.

revolving doorsNow, those entering the hotel first pass through a double set of sliding doors at the building envelope, leading to the revolving door. Swing doors are also available on either side of the revolving door to enter the lobby itself. The effect of the sliding doors and the revolving door in a cube is to virtually eliminate air flow from outside in, and vice versa.

The Warwick has 301 hotel rooms and 106 permanent residents. On any given day, between guests, residents, staff, and visitors, up to 1,000 people are passing through the entrance. Since the installation of the new entrance, the effect has been night and day — guest and visitors utilize the lobby space longer and in greater numbers. A big community table is usually filled all day long and the lobby is accented with fireplaces. The hotel lobby also offers two full-service food and beverage outlets (Bluestone Lane & Prime Rib Steakhouse), with a third to be announced sometime this year.

In addition to a now grand sense of arrival and more useable, comfortable space, the new entrance is also paying dividends on energy savings. “With the old entrance, our HVAC was running constantly, it could not keep up. Now, the unit can shut down periodically; that’s good for the health of the system, and we’re seeing substantial savings on energy bills,” says Hewitt.

And, in the event of an emergency, the doors stop and the wings can be “book folded” to create wide open ingress and egress. The hotel has a maintenance contract with Advanced Door, though since the installation the door has been virtually trouble free.


  1. I had no idea that revolving doors could be so iconic. There happens to be a lot warm and cool air that gets wasted as a door opens. I can definitely see how a revolving door could prevent that.

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