The 1907 Corn Exchange National Bank & Trust building has undergone numerous facelifts over the past century. Until recently, its most notable transformation was the outlandish home base for MTV’s Real World. But the building’s newest purpose has taken its personality to yet another level. In a renovation led by Ballinger, the Corn Exchange building has been reimagined into a sleek headquarters for tech company Linode – while preserving its historic architecture.
The new look offers clean lines and sleek fixtures with minimal ornamentation. In the open office area, The Lighting Practice used direct/indirect (D/I) pendants to provide flexibility and controllability. This feature is particularly helpful for employees who work long, irregular hours. Conference rooms and private offices also tout flexibility using linear slots with supplemental pinhole downlights with separate dimmable controls. Low-profile, wraparound fixtures illuminate basement lounges, support spaces and unfinished areas.
TLP worked with the design team to highlight the architecture in various spots, such as the basement marble walls illuminated by surface-mounted linear slots. Fixtures were strategically chosen and placed to support wayfinding: downlights for transition spaces, D/I pendants in the open office area, and D/I pendants and pinhole downlights in the private offices and conference rooms. As a final touch, green lighting in the server room and simple glowing pendant squares inconspicuously hint at the Linode logo.
The building’s interior is lit entirely with 3000K LEDs, and TLP carefully chose the color temperature. “A warm glow mimics that of incandescent, which is how it would have been lit after its completion in 1907, explained Johnathan Cook, who designed the lighting system with Emad Hasan.
In an article for Philly.com (featured below), Ingra Saffron noted the building’s ability to stay relevant for decades while staying true to its original form. “Technology may change, but Linode’s exterior has not, thanks to this sensitive renovation,” she said.
Remember that ‘Real World’ house? It’s now a sleek tech headquarters
Philly.com | May 2018
In a former neoclassical bank at Third and Arch in Old City, tech workers now hunch over glowing screens next to a marble fireplace, scanning code. Fifteen years ago, a rambunctious group of millennials in MTV’s Real World series gathered around the same fireplace, kicking back on red modernist sofas. And a century before that, bank managers pored over bound ledgers while sitting at desks in the exact same spot.
Many Philadelphia buildings have had multiple lives, but few have gone through the wild extremes (and the wild nights) that the Corn Exchange National Bank & Trust Co. has since it was completed in 1907. Over the years, it has been home to several banks, a community center for visiting sailors, a banquet hall, and, of course, a drama-packed season of the Real World. Reincarnated once again, the white-columned building is now headquarters of Linode, which provides cloud hosting services to companies around the world.
Check out the full article in Philly.com here.