In the constant bustle of Center City it is too easy for the business folk of Philadelphia to be overwhelmed in the 9-5 drag of paperwork, mergers and phone calls that make up an average day. But lately these frenzied workers have found a distraction from their routines in the form of a man-made tribute to technology, environmental forwardness and, of course, commerce. Such is the power of the new Comcast Building.
The building officially opened June 8, becoming the tallest, greenest and most innovative addition to the Philadelphia skyline. The 58 story complex holds a number of facets that separate it from your run-of-the-mill corporate office. The aesthetics of the building’s exterior, designed entirely of glass paneling, is a sight to behold in the midst of a Philadelphia afternoon. The glass also helps to filter light throughout the building. The plaza in front of the building is furnished with elaborate landscaping in which hidden sprinklers keep the plants thoroughly watered in the heat of the city summer. A fountain resides next to an outdoor café that is open to the public.
The wall opposite the entrance to the building is a hi-def video wall that throughout the day offers glimpses of outer space, fish, dancers, and people who give the appearance of living on the wall. If you happen to look in the building and see that the wall is on, feel free to go in and gawk. It is guaranteed that you won’t be the only one doing so. Models of businessmen and ordinary Philadelphians stand atop metal beams that crisscross up the sides of the lobby.
The lower level of the building is home to one of the highest of high end suit shops (allegedly a businessman can find $400 ties for sale), and a market that doubles as an excellent place for lunch and a formidable grocery store. Complete with a seafood market, fresh produce section and cake shop, a Comcast employee can leave work, walk downstairs and pick up a shrimp pizza or full rotisserie chicken to take home for the family. The downstairs of the building will also offer an entrance to the Regional Rail, creating a more convenient way for employees to catch the train or subway home.
According to www.designbuild-network.com, the building also houses an 110-foot winter garden. The building’s sustainable design, use of recycled materials in its creation and floor-by-floor climate control makes it eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification from the US Green Building Council.
At a shareholder’s event held last week at the Comcast Center one building official joked, “We even find time to do a little work here, too.”
— Liz Wagner