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Discussion in 'Architecture and Urban Planning' started by Phillyurban8, Aug 13, 2016.
Hopefully this doesn't delay the schedule too bad and turn into a SEPTA Silverliner type situation.
“It’s not a catastrophic issue.” Uh - well it sure sounds like a catastrophy in the making to me!
They are going to have to tear the whole building down and start again....J/k ...It's only the steel for the mechanical equipment and the spire.
I honestly wish the American Commerce Center was already erected as we speak.
The ACC had its own funding from Garrett Miller and it wasn't just a corporate tower, it was supposed to have a five-star hotel, a fitness center, an IMAX theatre, a connection to the Suburban Station concourse, an upscale mall, an observation deck, and it's most redeeming feature, a patio in the middle of the tower.
I blame the city and the state for allowing the ACC to be mothballed the way it did, especially since the proposal was privately funded and had the ACC been built and completed by 2012, we would've had another major company within our city (TD Bank, Black Rock, GSK, GENERAL ELECTRIC)!!!
I foresee that Philadelphia won't get another major company in 20 years, and by the time Philly finally does, major cities like Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Charlotte, San Jose, and Phoenix will surpass us not only in city and metro population, but in gross metropolitan product as well!!!
I can't recall seeing any evidence that ACC was funded, let alone had any tenants lined up.
The ACC always seemed more like an experimental vision than a realistic proposal to me. I remember hearing rumors about its funding and potential tenants at the time, but there was so much of that back then. If it was entirely funded and had tenants secured, there's no reason it couldn't have happened. City Hall had no political incentive to block it, in fact that lot was rezoned specifically to allow for that particular building, which ultimately allowed Comcast to build the CITC so high.
It was a cool concept, but I think that's all it was. For much of its proposal, Philadelphia is getting it in the CITC: an extended concourse, a hotel, it looks like a patio although probably only for employees. I don't doubt the ACC was a real design, but if it needed a tenant, Comcast could have chosen to go with that iteration. They went with Norman + Foster's instead. I don't necessarily like the look of the CITC better, in fact I really don't like the width of the tower, but what's being built is essentially the evolution of the ACC.
Whether or not Philadelphia gets another major company in the next 20 years, only time will tell. Things change rapidly. The ACC didn't promise any specific company, and one of its suggestions, GSK, is still here at the Navy Yard. If things continue to change at their current state, those cities you mentioned will likely continue to grow at a rate much faster than Philadelphia, but for a multitude of reasons. That doesn't also mean that corporate darlings like Charlotte and Phoenix won't take a dramatic left turn. They're "new," and right now they're playgrounds for development and commerce because their politicians aren't bogged down by the labor and tax burdens we face in the older Northeast. As those cities grow, their political climates will inevitably evolve and they'll become a lot more like Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, even New York.
Philadelphia might slip in the ranks as far as it's nationally concerned, but that number is irrelevant. It doesn't matter how our population compares to cities growing faster, only how we grow. If a massive company - say Amazon - were vying for a new city, they're not going to simply compare Charlotte's growth to Philadelphia's. They're going to look at how they're growing and why. Charlotte is growing because it's cheap and annexing surrounding communities. Philadelphia is growing at a slower rate, but dynamically from within. In that regard, Philadelphia is growing quite rapidly compared to other cities. We're dense (in fact Center City is the third densest US neighborhood after Midtown and Downtown Manhattan), we have an existing transit structure no city in the South or West Coast could ever dream of shoehorning into their auto-centric grids, and we have wildly diverse demographics. I hate the term the "Sixth Borough," but Philadelphia offers everything New York does at a fraction of the cost, an hour closer to corporate lobbyists in Washington. In short, when it comes to big cities, Philadelphia is very, very desirable to major corporations. Most just haven't accepted it yet.
I liked the design of the ACC, but it didn't have any inherent advantage over the CITC unless it had a tenant big enough to fill most of its floors. The CITC might just be growth of an existing company, but it's a company that's growing. Its new tower will be bringing in new employees from Rockefeller Center and residents from around the country. Basically, we got the ACC, it just doesn't look like it did in its original renderings.
Okay, so is that giant chiller atop the lower north facing tier going to be clad or disguised? And what's with the mechanical grilles in the façade of the lower tier (one horizontal band) and directly behind the area where the tower steps?
Mechanical seems like an after thought with this building, making it look clunky and ill conceived. Sir Foster???!!!!
Don't worry, everything's under control. See the Skyscraperpage.com forum for all the latest, including some close-up shots from up top. Also, it's been officially topped off.
PHILADELPHIA | Comcast Technology Center | 1,121 FT | 60 FLOORS - Page 369 - SkyscraperPage Forum
This pic explains what I mentioned. You can see the chillers atop the lower tier and behind them is a wall of grilles. What's that about???!!!
Agreed, those parts look terrible, unfinished, and like an afterthought. They don't appear at all in the renderings.
FWIW, one thing I have noticed with new buildings is that the enclosures of mechanicals are often the last thing to be done
Interesting how the skyscraper enthusiasts seem to be awestruck by this building but to me it's boring and ugly.
Iron workers plant Billy Penn atop new Comcast tower to help Eagles avoid curse | Philly.com
Here’s s the latest from the front lines of Eagles mania.
Iron workers at the new Comcast tower rushed the final steel beams into place over the last two weeks, fearing that a new “Curse of Billy Penn,” thought to have decimated Philly sports teams for decades, could sack the 10-1 Eagles before the Super Bowl, construction supervisors say.
So on Monday, some 1,100 feet above JFK Boulevard they affixed a tiny Billy Penn statue (and a Christmas tree) to the highest steel beam, placing Billy Penn in his rightful place overlooking the city from the tallest vantage point.
Buy the wings and beer! Plan the Super Bowl party!
I'm an architecture nut, and I'm far from a fan of the CITC. I guess it's exciting because it's a new "tallest," only because of the spire, which I think it would look better without. Foster seems to have a thing for them, it looks like about half his skyscrapers have some kind of tower sticking up the side. The entire building really seems like a mishmash of styles and materials lifted from Foster's other skyscrapers without much rhyme or reason. The main entrance is fine IMO, but the part with the most street frontage on Arch is dark and dreary. He paid about as much attention to the Arch Street sidewalk as the Convention Center paid Race Street. Unlike Philly's other skyscrapers, it spans the entire block, and the long windowless horizontal lines make it seem even longer. I can't help but wonder if this was a design he had lying around that worked well enough for Comcast, because the Arch Street facade is really bad for a "Starchitect."
Comcast wants to be seen as a tech company, in line with Google or Apple. As ridiculous as that sounds, a lot of what they do operationally is cut-and-paste what the Silicon Valley does. And Norman Foster designed Apple's new HQ. But whereas Foster designed something truly unique for Apple, I think Comcast just wanted Foster's name affixed to something that looked vaguely edgy. Like a lot of things Comcast does in the arena of "innovation," the CITC would have been daring in 2004, and was inspired by more innovative companies. I have no love lost on that company, but I have to laugh when they refer to it as the "Innovation and Technology Center."
Comcast's Center City office footprint grows with lease renewal ahead of new tower | Philly.com
Well it worked the last time, didn't it? High Hopes...
My God, there are even more mechanical grilles on the south elevation. They can't possibly per permanent! If so, what a dog of a tower.
Yah, something looks really wrong in this pic. Note the grey areas on the blue glass. Those are mechanical grilles and I can't imagine that they are temporary.
They are as temporary as the blue tape of the building...
What do you mean by temporary? Is that a staging area before all that mechanical equipment gets sent up to the roof?
Are you sure? I've never seen temporary mechanical grilles on the side of skyscraper.
Per the CDR doc, it should end up looking something like this:
Do you think Comcast will ever broadcast next-gen Wifi from the tower's spire?
Skyscrapers have a mechanical floor about halfway up usually covered with false windows. Since the hotel starts where it steps back there, it could be the mechanicals for the office component. I'm sure it'll be covered with glass.
^Yah, not so sure about all this but we'll see I guess.
Comcast's high-tech tower getting old-media upgrade: sidewalk newsstands | Philly.com
Digital media giant Comcast Corp. plans to furnish the sidewalks outside its new-technology high-rise with an old-media staple: newsstands.
The company plans a pair of kiosks selling newspapers and magazines — as well as coffee, croissants and sandwiches — on Arch Street, near the northwestern and northeastern corners of the Comcast Technology Center building that is set to open later this year, according to a presentation this week to the city’s Art Commission.
Note that these are much larger than the size allowed for standard newsstands, per the City ordinance, which last I checked was 4'x8'. Apparently they're not cheaping out on the newsstand design and construction either:
The kiosks, each with a footprint of 16-feet-by-7.6-feet, were designed by London-based architects Foster & Partners, which also designed Comcast’s technology tower, and are being built for $1.6 million.
That's union labor for you...
Also wonder how much of that is Foster's fee.
I fear that the grilles and exposed chiller are part of the final appearance.