In order to design a new atrium
for a historic building that will preserve the building’s
historic character and will meet the Standards for Rehabilitation,
the following should be considered:
Protection of historic interior materials, features,
The insertion of an atrium is generally more feasible in warehouses,
industrial or manufacturing buildings with simple interior spaces,
or in buildings whose interiors have been substantially altered
in the past.
An atrium should be placed at least one bay back from the entrance
or building façade, or in a secondary space in order to
avoid alterations to significant interior spaces.
An atrium should be enclosed and the opening should be covered
with a skylight or roof canopy to preserve it as an interior space.
This new atrium meets the Standards for
An important requirement of the new atrium (right) in this
historic warehouse building design was to provide fresh air, in
addition to light, into the building. This was accomplished by raising
the atrium covering just slightly so that it is not visible above
the existing roof. Photos: NPS files