Foster + Partners, Design Architect
Kendall/Heaton Associates, Executive Architect
140,000 m² (1,500,000 ft²)
Building Envelope Consultant
Targeting LEED® Platinum
With 59 storeys and reaching a height of 1,121 feet, the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will be the eighth tallest building in the USA and the tallest in Philadelphia. It will be adjacent to the existing Comcast Centre, which is headquarters to Comcast – the largest broadcasting and cable company in the world.
The mixed-use building will include office, hotel and retail including a 220-room Four Seasons Hotel, high-tech research and development spaces, loft-like workspaces and state-of-the-art television studios for NBC located at the base of the building.
The central spine culminates at the top of the building as illuminated blades of glass extending 38 metres above the tower, which will create a striking marker on the skyline. The building’s façades are animated by panoramic glass lifts and a series of thirteen three-storey sky gardens, which rise up through the eastern elevation, infusing a continuous strand of greenery through the building. Completion is expected in 2018.
Challenge: The visual appearance of the tower was of high importance for the anchor tenant, requiring a visually flat and distortion-free glass. Typical glass design will produce distortion in the reflected image leading to a fragmented appearance of the tower.
Solution: The glass makeup of the insulatied glass units (IGUs) was improved to allow for increased glass thickness, which was then visually mocked-up at full scale in various combinations and installed on site for key stakeholders to review.
Images courtesy of Foster + Partners