First Look: Brandywine’s Plans For 2100 Market

 

2100Market1

Cubism stacked with green, skyward amenities | Rendering: NBBJ

Earlier this month, Skyscraper Page’s band of development nerds managed to do the impossible and out-scoop the Philadelphia Business Journal–they leaked preliminary site plans and renderings of Brandywine Realty Trust’s plan for the 2100 Market site. And the plan is a marvel: a continuation of the developer’s forward-thinking architecture from the shard Cira and FMC towers.

The architects, NBBJ, are among New York’s best, with a large and diverse body of work, including a major Amazon.com tri-sphere biodome project planned for Seattle’s Denny Triangle neighborhood to major sports stadiums like good ol’ Lincoln Financial Field, the renovation of Pauley Pavillion at UCLA, and the massive Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center on the Qian Tang riverfront in China.

Rendering: NBBJ

Four point view | Rendering: NBBJ

Rumors have in fact been milling about Brandywine’s next Center City investment. The erstwhile development firm is halfway done the FMC Tower, and finishing up work on its new apartment proposal at 22nd & Market. An ambitious company, the kudzu grapevine has them also wooing Du Pont spin-off Chemours to an entirely new Cira tower to be built next to 30th Street Station, only a block from FMC.

In addition, Brandywine has made aggressive purchases both on Market East and Market West over the past year. They now own the parking garage at 7th & Market, as well as the former Basciano holdings on the 2100 block of Market. This is the same block that saw the fatal Salvation Army building collapse in 2013.

Rendering: NBBJ

Arial context and zoning projection | Rendering: NBBJ

At 2100 Market, the main development challenge is a firehouse a third of the way down the block–an ill-fitting, low-slung garage that nevertheless provides a necessary civic service, and one City officials aren’t interested in relocating. Any proposal for this block must, therefore, work around it. Brandywine offers an interesting solution: cantilever the offices above the firehouse, thereby integrating the single-story structure into the high-rise fabric marching down the street.

From there, the proposal continues its simple, but effective strategy. The fundamentally boxy design is broken up by offset amenity floors–one between the retail and the offices, one above the offices, and one halfway up the residential portion. A collaborative area in the middle of the office floors is defined by cutouts as well.

Brandywine’s vertical, mixed-use campus complex concept | Rendering: NBBJ

These offsets and cutouts are also shown in brown in the renderings, indicative of a façade strategy that breaks one big glass box up into several smaller, more easily digestible glass boxes–a fundamental departure from the Cira shards, whose façades have a crystalline feel about them, an effect requiring one continuous curtain wall. Even boxier, all-residential Evo’s façade is a solid glass curtain wall. This would be the first example of this type of design–evocative of cubism–in Philadelphia.

This is a preliminary design. It’s impossible to know how this building will turn out from an urbanism standpoint until it’s actually built, but in terms of boldness–yes, this has it.

About the author

Stephen Stofka is interested in the urban form and the way we change it. A graduate of the Geography and Urban Studies program at Temple University, he enjoys examining the architecture, siting, streetscapes, transportation, access, and other subtle elements that make a city a city.

Send a message!



10 Comments


  1. Good stuff Steve. Looking forward to hearing more about this.

  2. That is some serious ugly right there. Please stop ruining this beautiful city with ugly architecture like this.

  3. leonard eisenstein

    A GORGEOUS BUILDING if it’s actually built!

  4. One of the more interesting looking designs in a long time for this city.

  5. Firehouse can easily be relocated. It is the politics holding the city to keeping the firehouse at its present location. Once neighborhood groups are satisfied with the design and ZBA approves it, City will then sell location to Brandywine and relocate firehouse. No shortage of good sites for the new firehouse in the city.

  6. I’m curious if GroJLart has an opinion on this design.

  7. It’s not horrible and probably has the right mix of purposes, but already looks dated to me.

  8. It looks like Jenga.

  9. Any update on this project?

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Wayne Junction Moves Forward With Revitalization

Wayne Junction Moves Forward With Revitalization

September 20, 2017  |  News

Developer Ken Weinstein unveils transit-oriented development plans for Wayne Junction district. GroJLart has the story > more

Inside Northeast Philly's Temple Of Ryerss

Inside Northeast Philly’s Temple Of Ryerss

September 19, 2017  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us on a fall field trip to the Ryerss Mansion, an eccentric, little-known house museum in the Great Northeast > more

Unlisted Philadelphia: Locust Theatre

Unlisted Philadelphia: Locust Theatre

September 14, 2017  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, a marvelous movie house in West Philly > more

Monument Lab: A City-Wide Art Museum That Asks Us To

Monument Lab: A City-Wide Art Museum That Asks Us To “Leave Fingerprints”

September 13, 2017  |  Vantage

We ought to write our own history, say the organizers of Monument Lab, who launch their multi-week public art and civic introspection festival today in the wake of Charlottesville, Dallas, and Durham. Nathaniel Popkin catches up with Monument Lab founder Paul Farber, who asks us all, "What is an appropriate monument for Philadelphia today?" > more

An Original Keeps It Classy On Chestnut Street

An Original Keeps It Classy On Chestnut Street

September 12, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

From furniture and furnace manufacturing to a 1980s video arcade, 1606 Chestnut Street has kept busy for 127 years. The Shadow has the details on this Center City standout > more

Skid Row Deaths Of 1963 Echoes Today's Opioid Crisis

Skid Row Deaths Of 1963 Echoes Today’s Opioid Crisis

September 8, 2017  |  Vantage

Steve Metraux takes a look at the "Canned Heat Wave" poisoning of 1963 that took the lives of 31 people on Skid Row. The public health scholar says the parallels between this tragic incident and Kensington's opioid crisis is telling > more