Landmark Event Held at The Navy Yard Celebrates Groundbreaking of New Building at 1200 Intrepid Ave. and Opening of Central Green Park
Liberty Property Trust, which owns and manages more than 17 million square feet of office, flex and industrial space in the Greater Philadelphia region, together with its joint venture partner Synterra Partners, broke ground today on a 94,000 square foot office building, the first in Philadelphia to be designed by the world-renowned Bjarke Ingels Group. The event also featured a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the adjacent five-acre park, Central Green, developed in a joint investment by Liberty Property/Synterra, PIDC and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Central Green was designed by James Corner Field Operations, landscape architect whose notable projects include Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier and New York City’s High Line.
“Today as we break ground on 1200 Intrepid and cut the ribbon on Central Green, we are redefining the intersection of work and play,” said John Gattuso, Liberty Property Trust senior vice president and regional director, at today’s ceremony. “With the help of two extremely talented design teams, we further advance the reality of The Navy Yard as one of the most compelling work environments in the Philadelphia region. Increasingly, The Navy Yard is a place where employees want to work and businesses from around the world want to call home.”
Today’s celebration marks two impressive additions to The Navy Yard and kicks off a new block of development at the campus. The groundbreaking at 1200 Intrepid Avenue is the fourteenth building Liberty has developed at The Navy Yard representing 1.35 million square feet. The speculative development will offer 94,000 square feet of trophy quality office space, in a one-of-a-kind setting at The Navy Yard, which continues to attract companies to Philadelphia from around the world. The Navy Yard is currently home to more than 11,500 employees and 145 companies occupying 7.0 million square feet of real estate.
“With the addition of the beautiful Central Green and the new office space at 1200 Intrepid, the Philadelphia Navy Yard continues to go from strength to strength,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “This unique environment has been transformed from a closed military facility to one of the nation’s leading places to work, creating even more reasons for innovative companies from around the world to move to Philadelphia.”
With the opening of Central Green The Navy Yard adds its sixth park to the campus. The public event following the ribbon cutting highlighted the park’s unique, sustainable and social environment. Visitors and Navy Yard employees enjoyed the gourmet food trucks, listened to the music of District Blue, a local Philadelphia band, on the sunlawn, walked the track, took part in table tennis and bocce contests, enjoyed a yoga class on the lawn, viewed a demonstration from wellness experts on the use of the park’s special TRX® fitness apparatus, or lounged in a hammock or on one of the park’s many chaise lounges.
John Grady, President of PIDC said, “We are thrilled to join with our partners today to officially open this new park and break ground on the next great addition to The Navy Yard’s expanding office campus. The Navy Yard is one of the region’s most vibrant and progressive business locations, and Central Green is the perfect sustainable amenity to match the active workplace activities that surround it.”
1200 Intrepid Avenue Seems to Defy Gravity As the first building to be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group in the city of Philadelphia, the four-story project has been envisioned to communicate and connect with Central Green. Its east façade is curved and bows inward at the ground plane in a gesture reminiscent of the park’s circular running track, activity pods and planting vignettes. Its cornice, in contrast, remains straight and aligns with the original orthogonal street grid prevalent in the immediate neighborhood. These gestures result in a complex double curved surface which is built of alternating architectural sand-blasted white precast concrete panels and fenestration. The “net” of heavy architectural materials seems to defy gravity as it reaches into and embraces 12th Street and Central Green. The building is targeting LEED® Gold certification and will be ready for occupancy in 2016. The building’s design can accommodate either a single or multi-tenant layout.
“Our design for 1200 Intrepid has been shaped by the encounter between Robert Stern’s urban master plan of rectangular city blocks and James Corner’s iconic circular park,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG. “The ‘shock wave’ of the public space spreads like rings in the water invading the footprint of our building to create a generous urban canopy at the entrance. The resultant double curved façade echoes the complex yet rational geometries of maritime architecture. Inside, the elevator lobby forms an actual periscope allowing people to admire the mothballed ships at the adjacent docks.”
Central Green Offers a Unique, Sustainable and Social Environment Central Green is a five-acre park set between 12th Street and Rouse Boulevard in the heart of The Navy Yard. A 20-ft wide “Social Track” organizes the project and frames a unique, immersive interior park. Marked by a large digital clock and oversized chaise lounge chairs, this 1/5 mile loop allows for measured exercise, as well as sunbathing and socialization. The park interior is home to a hammock grove, sunlawn, conference table, bocce court, table tennis and fitness area.
“Central Green unites the cutting edge urban potential of the site with its native habitat, resulting in a new type of urban environment that is sustainable, green and natural as well as social, active and healthy,” said James Corner, founder and director of James Corner Field Operations. “It’s a bold landscape of flowering meadows, rain gardens and specimen trees that serve as the interactive backdrop to thematic interior ‘rooms’. Central Green is a model of what a livable city could include with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyles and a healthy environment.”