Land Collective Offices – Philadelphia

  • Client Land Collective,
  • size 5,000 sqft
  • Year 2017
  • Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States,
  • Industry Architecture Firm, Design,
  • Dragani Martone Studio designed the offices of landscape architect Land Collective, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    The design for the new studio realizes through a series of restrained architectural interventions and vertical expansion of the existing one-story 19th century shell, a changeable workspace supported by a grid of modern infrastructure that allows for connectivity in virtually every area of the building. While transformation was the goal of the design, a strategy was developed to preserve and adapt, whenever possible, existing structural elements, which allowed the raw aesthetic of the shell to manifest itself as an integral part of the new architecture.

    To achieve the intended design objectives, a careful process of removing superfluous layers was undertaken to create a minimalist shell of brick and plaster. Every effort has been made to optimize existing assets to serve the building’s new function. All required structural interventions, new partitions, and exterior envelope improvements were carried out with wood construction in order to take advantage of this highly renewable material. A critical element of the design strategy was the introduction and optimization of natural ventilation and daylight to the deep space of the existing one story volume.

    Responding to the neighborhood’s cultural ethos, the light filled volume set behind the public street façade introduces a gallery space featuring a collection of antique gardening implements displayed on a modular wood shelving system, and rotating art installations by local artists.

    A moveable, perforated, felt wall panel screens the gallery from the larger area of the studio beyond. The long interior space is bound on its east end by an operable aluminum and glass overhead door designed to promote cross ventilation. When in the open position, the space of the studio extends to the rear, open courtyard, tying interior and exterior spaces together seamlessly.

    A second floor studio space supported by new engineered wood floor framing has been added over the rear two thirds of the existing structure. The new second floor incorporates flexible open and closed office spaces, and a tiered meeting area, which opens out to a planted roof terrace set over existing timber roof framing with views to the Old City streetscape beyond.

    The front façade is fitted with a zinc rain screen shroud, and capped by a green cornice of sculptural sumac trees set within a zinc clad planter. Existing brick has been repointed and painted, and original openings, previously infilled, have been restored, and fitted with expansive aluminum and glass storefront windows. The readapted façade fuses old and new together in a transparent composition that invites the gaze of people passing by.

    DesignDragani Martone Studio
    Photography: Halkin Mason Photography