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GOLD AWARD: Falls Center Heritage Building, Philadelphia, Pa.

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GOLD AWARD: Falls Center Heritage Building, Philadelphia, Pa.


By By BD+C Staff | November 8, 2011
Originally constructed in 1926, the Heritage Building was successfully transformed into a mixed-use development. Photos: Charles

Designed by the architecture firm of Ritter and Shay, original construction on the Heritage Building began in 1926. The building eventually became part of the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania Falls Center, a complex of six separate buildings, including the most recent addition, a laboratory annex constructed in 1995. Despite the many changes throughout the life of the complex, the Heritage Building remained a teaching and clinical facility that housed hospital rooms, classrooms, and administrative offices.

Faced with demanding historic preservation renovation standards, as well as budget and time constraints, the Building Team initially transformed the Heritage Building into 50,000 sf of commercial office and retail space, including a gym, a retail pharmacy, and two pediatric offices. After a series of financial hurdles, zoning approvals were finalized to transform the remaining structure into a mixed-use development, including a medical office, light manufacturing, retail, and residential components. Upon completion last July, 170,000 sf of space was also dedicated for use by nearby Philadelphia University, which included 132 student residence units, an auditorium café, and in-house design studios for the university’s architecture, design, and fashion majors.

Falls Center Heritage Building, Philadelphia, Pa.

Heat Lock 200 wall insulation: Demilics USA
Water source heat pumps: Climate-master
Security and IT: GT Telecom
Security fire egress, cameras: ADT
Door hardware: Schlage and Best
RTU’s: Lennox
Wood, windows and doors: Seaquay Architectural millwork
Signage: Brauns Signage
High pressure toilets: American Standard
Metering: Quadlogic Sub-metering
Fire Alarm: Electronic Security Solutions
Paint: Benjamin Moore
Wood floor and carpet: Shaw

The Building Team, led by submitting firm Iron Stone Real Estate Group (CM), included Wulff Architects (architect), Morrissey Design (interior architect), Digenova Sam (structural engineer), Direct Air Design and Build (mechanical engineer), Mirarchi Brothers (electrical engineer), Bofinger Plumbing Contractors (plumbing engineer), and Axis Construction Management (GC). “They finished under budget and ahead of schedule despite meeting many obstacles. The Building Team really persevered,” said BD+C Reconstruction Award Judge Steve Martinez. BD+C

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