OLIN was the landscape architect for Comcast’s main headquarters in the heart of Philadelphia’s financial district—the tallest skyscraper in the city at the time of its completion. The stateliness and elegance of this impressive, LEED-certified, 56-story office tower are carried through to OLIN’s plaza at the structure’s base. However, the plaza is more than merely a suitable platform for the building—it is a vibrant, well-used, civic space, wholly connected to the city. It serves as a new destination for residents and workers, and as a principal entry to the regional rail lines, markets and food court located beneath the site. Along its most civic-facing edge, a sheared aerial hedge defines the plaza and filters the noise and activity of bustling John F. Kennedy Boulevard. On the plaza, a plinth supports a café housed under a sculptural trellis of dichroic glass, steel, and vines. A dynamic fountain provides a linear veil between the café and the main plaza. The plaza is paved in a pattern of granite bands that extends into the building’s first floor lobby and winter garden.
2009, Urban Land Institute Award of Excellence