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Striking New Towers Coming to Philadelphia's Schuylkill Yards
Inga Saffron reports on plans recently submitted by developer Brandywine Realty Trust for the development of Schuylkill Yards in Philadelphia.
The proposed designs look like a welcome departure from the "blue-glass straitjacket that has come to dominate urban office districts around the world," writes Saffron. When it comes to corporate skyscrapers, "[t]he design is not expected to be fun. It is not supposed to make people think of a tumbling stack of children’s blocks. And it is definitely not supposed to be fire-engine red."
The proposed building includes bright red accents created by terracotta and metal, according to Saffron. "Perhaps even more improbable than the color is the treatment at sidewalk level. PAU has given both this tower, and its more sedate, 360-foot companion, a delicately arched arcade that recalls the mod architecture of the early ’60s. Think I.M. Pei, Minoru Yamasaki, Wallace K. Harrison, and Edward Durell Stone."
Brandywine CEO Jerry Sweeney is quoted in the article saying the development's design flourishes are intended to attract the kind of companies that want to be located near West Philadelphia's universities. With these buildings, in effect, Brandywine is departing from its history of developing scaleless glass facades.