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Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus

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    • a courtyard now occupies the footprint of one of the Navy Yard’s many “ghost” buildings
    • Overview

      “The new design brings out the best of the old and highlights the historic features in ways that might have been less successful with a more traditional response. . . . The tension between old and new, tactile and smooth, light and dark, indoor and out, all of this while holding in character with the corporate image—genius.”
      —AIA National Honor Awards Jury

      Housed in Philadelphia’s historic Navy Yard, this multi-phased corporate campus provides new design studios and office space for the company’s distinctive retail brands, while celebrating the idiosyncratic remnants of 125 years of shipbuilding. The design embraces both the history of the Navy Yard and Urban Outfitters’ modern culture by layering old and new.

    • these buildings were home to such historic events as the launch of the New Jersey (1941)
    • remnants of past use include massive cranes and pipe bending pits (now koi ponds)
    • campus amenities include a fitness center (located above a new central mechanical plant)
    • and a cafeteria that is popular with both employees and other Navy Yard workers
    • new enclosed offices and meeting rooms feature an industrial aesthetic
    • a central stair made from timbers salvaged from the site reconnects all three levels
    • surfaces were carefully scraped and sealed to reveal a colorful patina of the past
    • Free People’s original Building 15 incorporated gauze-covered walls for display
    • having outgrown their original space, Free People has now moved to Building 25
    • custom workstations are designed to mimic antique sewing machines
    • Specifications

      Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Type: Adaptive reuse

      Size: 341,000 square feet

    • Awards

      AIA National Honor Award for Architecture.

      AIA Minnesota Honor Award.

      Arch Daily Top 100 American Architecture Project.

      Business Week /Architectural Record Good Design is Good Business Award.

      National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award.

      Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence (National and Global).

      IIDA Northland Chapter FAB Award (Workplace Category), Building 18.

      The Waterfront Center’s Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award.

      Arch Daily Building of the Year (Refurbishment Category).

      Preservation Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
      Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award.

      Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia Achievement Award.

      University of Arkansas Alumni Design Award.

    • Project Contact

      Jeffrey Scherer

      • Architect / Principal
      • jeffrey@msrdesign.com
      • 612 359 3223
      • View Bio

      Josh Stowers

      • Architect / Principal
      • josh@msrdesign.com
      • 612 889 0034
      • View Bio