At The Navy Yard, A Spectacular Speculative Office


A view of Bjarke Ingels’ mesmerizing design for the Navy Yard’s 1200 Intrepid Avenue | Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj

A view of Copenhagen-based architect Bjarke Ingels’ mesmerizing design for the Navy Yard’s 1200 Intrepid Avenue | Photo: Rasmus Hjortshoj, for The Inquirer

  • Inga Saffron lauds the imaginative, yet economical work of 41-year-old Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels, now marking his splash in America—most prominently on mighty Manhattan with the 709-unit luxury apartment tower Via 57 West—but also at South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, with his treatment of the lowly and ubiquitous speculative office building type. Looking up from one of the Yard’s too generously supplied parking lots, one would hardly think that developer Liberty Property Trust was all that budget-conscious when it signed Ingels on for the four-story, 92,000-square-foot building at 1200 Intrepid Avenue. Although the $375-per-square-foot price for construction is slightly steeper than previous projects in the Navy Yard, 1200 Intrepid Avenue is a marvel, employing a skylight as a functioning periscope, weaving concrete paneling together as if a wicker basket, leaning in the direction and imitation of the circular park across the street. Indeed, “it’s hard to tear yourself away from the Baroque, crashing wave of the building’s dazzlingly white, main facade.”
  • “A herd of 57 fiberglass donkeys, each representing an American state or territory, are being painted by local artists inside a shipping warehouse in Port Richmond,” reports Peter Crimmins for NewsWorks. From July 1 through the end of the Democratic National Convention, they will be on display across downtown Philadelphia, each suggestive of its given state or territory’s history and culture.
  • Thanks mainly to its installation of surveillance cameras across its fleet of buses in recent years, SEPTA has dramatically cut back on its legal fees, says PlanPhilly transportation reporter Jim Saksa. Some $33 million in savings from the last fiscal year will be transferred into its service stabilization fund.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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