426 W. LANCASTER AVE
Brandywine Realty Trust approached Granum to reposition their recently acquired asset at 426 W Lancaster Avenue after a whole building tenant vacated the property. Located further west than the prime Main Line office zone, the existing building had a number of conditions diminishing its presence to potential tenants and buyers: heavy screening along Lancaster Avenue by a mature landscape, an unmarked site entry, parking tucked behind the building where no one could see it from the road, and dark, reflective glass making the structure disappear amongst the evergreen landscape.
Constructed in 1989 and receiving its first tenant in 1993, 426 W Lancaster had seen only tenant related modifications in the intervening years resulting in the public and amenity spaces strongly exhibiting an early ‘90s motif of heavy brass railings, rich green carpeting, and cherry wood accents. Despite the atrium having a skylight at its top and narrow curtain wall facing Lancaster Avenue, the space appeared dark. The position within the atrium of the stair that connected all three above grade floors and the basement resulted in little space to draw people in or allow queueing.
Granum studied a variety of approaches for initial budgeting from completely re-skinning the building to the selected option of increasing glass and transparency into the main building lobby, creating a stronger presence to the building entry, and updating the non-glass façade elements. Landscaping was reconfigured along Lancaster Avenue to increase visibility both to the building and especially to the atrium where the new curtain wall elements contained clear glass allowing transparency into and through to the entrance and parking beyond. Bright elements were introduced to the façade to give it a bold presence. Internally, the atrium stair was completely relocated to infill floor area at the ground floor, the railings were changed to glass, and the Lobby brightened through the introduction of back painted glass and strip lighting at the elevator core. Commissioned artwork was used in a full height mural within the atrium as well as pieces incorporated into the elevator cab refreshes and wall mounted pieces near the building’s main entrance. Toilet rooms were modernized to individual compartments and the aesthetic updated to align to a crisp look.
Brandywine sought to make this a pilot project. In lieu of their traditional design and construction processes, they sought to partner the architect and contractor in an accelerated delivery. Selecting Wohlsen Construction, Granum, Brandywine, and the contractor worked to deliver the face lift within budget in under eight months. With the exception of structural engineering and lighting design, Wohlsen supplied through a design-build process the fire protection, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical engineering for a complete replacement of equipment and reconfiguration of ductwork and piping.
Brandywine Realty Trust
AW Lookup (Structural)
BEAM, ltd (Lighting)
Bohler Engineering (Civil/Landscape Design)
Julia Blaukopf Photography (artwork)