Worship Space with Retractable Roof #2148

Five Star Retractable Systems, LLC, is a Libart USA distributor and has worked with the Libart team on some of the gallery project installations, within the US.

Project Details

  • Model Steel Structure
  • Size 21 x 32 ft
  • Quaker Meetinghouse creates awe-inspiring SkySpace with a retractable roof

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Worship Space with Retractable Roof  #2148 Image 1Worship Space with Retractable Roof  #2148 Image 2Worship Space with Retractable Roof  #2148 Image 3Worship Space with Retractable Roof  #2148 Image 4

Worship Space with Retractable Roof #2148 Project Description

Retractable roof chestnut hill

Open Sky Worship Space for Quaker Meetinghouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Retractable Roof

Although retractable roofs and structures are popular in hotels, restaurants, and clubs all over the world for their convenience and  “wow-factor,” the functional features make a statement in worship settings too.

Chestnut Hill Skyspace, a Quaker faith community meeting space in northwest Philadelphia now has a retractable roof. This is a functional piece of an art installation known as “Greet the Light” created by world-renowned artist, James Turrell.

Turrell’s light-centered art, which according to a description found at New York’s Guggenheim Museum of Art, creates “groundbreaking explorations of perception, light, color and space,” has been installed in places all over the world. From London’s Pace Gallery to Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Turrell’s magnificent work has been experienced by tourists and local residents, art enthusiasts and curious onlookers.

Retractable roof construction

The construction of the retractable roof

Several times a week, the public is invited to Chestnut Hill SkySpace for a 50-minute experience that features a raw, unfiltered and unobstructed view of the sky. Viewers are encouraged to bring blankets, mats, and cushions for their comfort, and invited to sit, or  lie down on the floor of the SkySpace. While the sky’s naturally transitioning colors highlight the open space overhead, intense colors transition and undulate on the inner walls of the space through LED lighting. An unobstructed view of the sky and its natural colors from inside the space are an important part of the experience, so Libart’s quiet, minimalist style retractable roof was a perfect structure to protect the inner space from potentially damaging elements while providing easy access to the open sky with the touch of a button.

Libart’s retractable structures more than an attraction in hospitality and fine dining venues. Their quiet, easy, and quick functioning makes Libart an excellent choice for open-sky projects from greenhouses to astronomy observatories. Whether you prefer to dance under a ceiling of night sky stars, or ponder the meaning of life under the sky, Libart provides a way to accomplish that.


For this project, Libart specifically provided the custom steel sub-structure, as pictured below and also custom-designed a programmable logic controller to operate the motors, limits sensors, and controls. A custom inflatable seal was designed and installed to automatically inflate when fully closed and deflate prior to opening. This seal provides for complete air and weather protections around the perimeter of the opening. The finishing of the roof was provided by other contractors.




Chestnut Hill Retractable Roof

The steel structure made by Libart