GSK Opens Their Philadelphia Navy Yard Offices & Receives LEED Double-Platinum

As part of the design team for GlaxoSmithKline’s newest building, I recently had the privilege of attending the grand opening and ribbon-cutting on Saturday, April 6th.  Held on a sunny spring day, the building’s interior was flooded with daylight.  It was the perfect example of how this facility demonstrates GSK’s commitment to environmentally friendly design. The GSK office received LEED Double-Platinum.

Deirdre Connelly, GSK’s President of North American Pharmaceuticals, began the ceremony with an overview of the project and the first public announcement of its LEED Double-Platinum status.  Architect Robert A. M. Stern, whose team designed the building’s core and shell, followed with remarks about the unique space.  He emphasized the access to daylight, low electric lighting loads, high ceilings, and smart building systems that keep the total energy use 25% below code allowances.  Francis Cauffman’s lead architect for the interiors team, John Campbell, explained how the open seating plan encourages employees to work together and feel connected throughout the day.  The message was clear, GSK is a world leader in their field and with the introduction of this building they have set the bar for the workplace of the future.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter then took the stage to voice his support for the project.  He stated that Philadelphia’s goal of a sustainably developed and economically important Navy Yard is being realized through projects such as this.  He invited key GSK employees to be honored and recognized for their work on the project and helped Ms. Connelly cut the ribbon to officially open the building.

I am proud to say that I was a part of the team that designed this building.  It is an honor to work on meaningful projects that lead by example.  While it was a difficult challenge to design a building with a LEED Double-Platinum rating, I believe that the team did so with integrity and without sacrificing aesthetic quality and comfort.  I sincerely hope that the 1,300 employees who will use this building find it to be a great space to work and grow their business.  The pride I saw on their faces during the opening ceremony tells me that they will.

By Stephen Hoppe

Design Team – Exterior

Robert A. M. Stern Architects: Design Architect/Landscape Design
Kendall / Heaton Associates, Inc.: Architect of Record
L.F. Driscoll CO.: Contractor
Buro Happold: MEP and Fire Engineer/Sustainability Engineer/Lighting and Facade Consultant
Pennoni Associates: Civil Engineering
Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers: Structural Engineer

Design Team – Interior

Francis Cauffman: Interior Design and Workplace Strategies
Wick Fisher White: Mechanical and Electrical Engineers/Plumbing and Fire Alarm Engineers
Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers: Structural Engineer
Atkins: LEED Consultant
Bala Engineers: LEED Commissioning Engineer
Pentagram: Graphics Consultant
The Lighting Practice: Lighting Consultant