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  Page 68 July August 2001 IssuePenn's Landing Maintenance Facility & Information Center
Granary Associates 
411 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Total Square Feet: 14,000
Construction Period: Nov 1999 to Apr 2000

Construction Team
General Contractor: Clemens Construction Co. - 1435 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19102
Structural Engineer: O'Donnell & Naccarato, Inc. - 111 S. Independence Mall E, #950, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Electrical Engineer: C-Quest, Inc. - 387 Springdale Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19040
Mechanical Engineer: Hunter Mechanical - 2510 Westchester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008
Landscape Architect: Granary Associates - 411 North 20th St., Philadelphia, PA 19130
Cost Estimator: Clemens Construction Co. - 1435 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19102

Over the past few years, Penn's Landing has been planning and implementing various projects along the Philadelphia Waterfront including the construction of a 
high-profile Family Entertainment Center. In 1999, Granary Associates was awarded the challenge of designing a facility that would act as a support to these 
facility additions. Penn's Landing Corporation identified the need for a maintenance facility as well as additional office space in order to efficiently and effectively service 
all of their properties. Anticipating an increase of pedestrian traffic, the Waterfront also needed to provide an information center as well as public restrooms to its visitors. This unusual combination space needed to be housed within the same facility and was subject to the following client guidelines: a fixed construction budget of $1.5 million for a 14,000-square-foot building, a nine month time table for design start to project completion; a design that complemented other improvements being made to the Philadelphia Waterfront.

The client-selected site, centrally located between all properties owned by Penn's Landing Corporation, presented various challenges to the project team. Closely surrounded by Columbus Blvd., a pedestrian walkway along the Delaware River, a parking lot and future International Sculpture Garden, the limited available space dictated a square shape building. In addition, a significant amount of the construction budget had to be used to relocate existing equipment and underground utilities.

The type building is a continuation and a reminder of Philadelphia's past through the use of simple shapes and materials commonly found on the old manufacturing buildings on the Delaware waterfront. CMU was selected for the exterior walls due to its resistance to abuse, its durability, low maintenance and cost. Aluminum and glass were the only other two materials used on the exterior. The chosen palette of gray colors and anodized aluminum were manufacturer standards which eliminated additional costs and availability delays. The addition of yellow and red, which complement the gray tones, provides the building with a festive appearance.

The addition of skylights over the manufacturing section of the building created a welcoming, friendlier exterior to passing pedestrians. The front row of skylights protrude from the outside wall, creating the perception of "monitors" during the day and "glowing lanterns" in the evening. This contrasts with the other skylights which appear like formation cubes submerged in the building. This, in combination with the exterior materials and shapes, creates an eye-catching effect which encourages people to visit the facility.

Separated by function, the interior of the building is structured to house manufacturing on the street side and the information center, office and public restrooms on the river side. A natural "divide" between the two sides is created through different combinations of five colors, a circular common room, as well as a slightly tilted wall between the offices and corridor. The result is a friendly and humane environment which inherently separates the public space from the private functions.

The uncharacteristic components of the facility created a space which not only met all of the requirements, but exceed all expectations of the client. The result has certainly created a new standard for the construction of future maintenance facilities.

Exterior Walls - CMU: Trendstone® by Trenwyth; Steel Wall Panels: Ceco.
Roof - Metal: Ceco.
Floors - Painted Concrete:Benjamin Moore; VCT: Azrock; Carpet: Mohawk.
Interior Walls - United States Gypsum.

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