In July, the concrete mat foundation was poured for Philadelphia’s new dual-branded W and Element Hotels at 15th and Chestnut Streets. The 24-hour pour involved 600 cement trucks, a half-acre of eight-foot-deep concrete, and intense construction coordination on a tight urban site.Teammates from Cope Linder Architects, O’Donnell & Naccarato structural engineers, and Tutor Perini Building Corp. were on hand for the pour and were interviewed about this significant new construction project.
A Uniquely Philadelphia Design
Cope Linder Architects has provided design services to develop a project uniquely suited to the economic conditions and hotel guest needs in Philadelphia.
“It has been a bit like making a 51-story Swiss watch,” said partner and design principal in charge, David Ertz, AIA, LEED AP. “Our familiarity with the site, how various elements can be vertically arranged, and the different hotel flag requirements are complemented by our continued emphasis on maintaining a high level of architectural design throughout the process.”
Due to the complex program requirements of two hotels, nearly every floor in the tower is customized, with the structural grid changing to accommodate interior plans. Through extensive teamwork and collaboration with the client and hotel operator, the design team identified solutions that will create a unique guest experience.
The common design thread is the quality of the project and its relationships to the local environment and culture. Design influences include Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park and Wissahickon Valley, its rich industrial heritage of textile and ceramics manufacturing, contemporary and traditional arts, music, and national history. A commitment to environmental responsibility will be marked by LEED certification. The building’s massing unites the two brands while respecting and relating to the scale and texture of neighboring buildings.