15th and Walnut Street Building

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1 / 7 – Photo credit: Jeffrey Totaro
“The architecture gods have smiled on Philadelphia. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has come up with an original design that responds to its surroundings in a deeply informed way. Their sophisticated Philadelphia glass box promises to be one of the city’s finest new buildings.”
Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer Architecture critic



This new three-story retail/office building in center city Philadelphia is composed of ultra-clear glass facades carefully detailed for maximum retail transparency. At the same time, deep recesses in the façade create a counterpoint between the taut glass and the weight of adjacent buildings’ stone facades. Each of the three 20-foot tall stories is constructed of full-height structurally glazed panels, the nation’s first truss-stiffened unitized glass curtainwall. The result is a distinctive high-performance façade that can be shop-fabricated, delivered to the site, and erected with greater precision and in a fraction of the time required to construct a conventional stick-built system.

Further technological innovation includes a rooftop active with innovative storm water management design elements. A green portion of the roof is vegetated to absorb rainwater and return it to the atmosphere via transpiration. The remainder is a blue roof, calibrated by slopes and drain controls to retain rainwater and slow its release, helping to avoid a surge in the city’s aged storm system. This combined green and blue roof technology will be a first for the city.

In total, the developer owner will have a building that has successfully encouraged unusual 2nd story retail tenants in an elegantly detailed and precisely tailored building.

Project Data

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2012 – 2015
59,000 sf