Vice President of Development
Liberty Property Trust, Philadelphia
Robert A.M. Stern Architects, New York City
From its inception, Comcast Center was designed to exude a heightened sense of innovation and public engagement – qualities that align with both the tower’s primary tenant, Comcast, and the host city of Philadelphia. A major emphasis was thus placed on the tower’s interplay with the ground plane. A large, south-facing plaza greets pedestrians entering the development, itself straddling and connecting with an underground train station. The formal entrance to the tower is defined by a light-filled public winter garden, featuring a double-skin glass curtain wall with sunscreens and louvers that optimize daylight and views while moderating daily and seasonal thermal performance. This space provides a weather-protected connection to the train station and retail concourse below.
The tower’s innovations continue along its height; it contains a 1,136-cubic-meter tuned liquid column damper, the largest such damper in North America at the time of completion. Notable strategies were also employed to reduce potable water consumption, in addition to heating and cooling loads. Taken together, the tower pushed the envelope in an American context, in terms of how it embraces rather than simply facilitates meaningful connections to the urban habitat.