Philadelphia, PA — Liberty Property Trust together with its joint venture partner Synterra Partners, broke ground on a 94,000 s/f office building, the first in Philadelphia to be designed by the world-renowned Bjarke Ingels Group. The event also featured a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the adjacent five-acre park, Central Green, developed in a joint investment by Liberty Property/Synterra, PIDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Central Green was designed by James Corner Field Operations, landscape architect.
“Today as we break ground on 1200 Intrepid and cut the ribbon on Central Green, we are redefining the intersection of work and play,” said John Gattuso, Liberty Property Trust senior vice president and regional director, at today’s ceremony. “With the help of two extremely talented design teams, we further advance the reality of The Navy Yard as one of the most compelling work environments in the Philadelphia region.”
The celebration marks two impressive additions to The Navy Yard and kicks off a new block of development at the campus. The groundbreaking at 1200 Intrepid Ave. is the fourteenth building Liberty has developed at The Navy Yard representing 1.35 million s/f. The speculative development will offer 94,000 s/f of trophy quality office space, in a one-of-a-kind setting at The Navy Yard, which continues to attract companies to Philadelphia from around the world.
As the first building to be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group in the city of Philadelphia, the four-story project has been envisioned to communicate and connect with Central Green. Its east façade is curved and bows inward at the ground plane in a gesture reminiscent of the park’s circular running track, activity pods and planting vignettes. Its cornice, in contrast, remains straight and aligns with the original orthogonal street grid prevalent in the immediate neighborhood. These gestures result in a complex double curved surface which is built of alternating architectural sand-blasted white precast concrete panels and fenestration. The “net” of heavy architectural materials seems to defy gravity as it reaches into and embraces 12th St.and Central Green. The building is targeting LEED Gold certification and will be ready for occupancy in 2016. The building’s design can accommodate either a single or multi-tenant layout.
“Our design for 1200 Intrepid has been shaped by the encounter between Robert Stern’s urban master plan of rectangular city blocks and James Corner’s iconic circular park,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner BIG. “The ‘shock wave’ of the public space spreads like rings in the water invading the footprint of our building to create a generous urban canopy at the entrance. The resultant double curved façade echoes the complex yet rational geometries of maritime architecture. Inside, the elevator lobby forms an actual periscope allowing people to admire the mothballed ships at the adjacent docks.”