Located at the intersection of the museum quarter and the commercial quarter of Philadelphia, Comcast Campus is a new shared space in the heart of the city. In this “image city” of painted walls and masterpieces of classical, modern and contemporary art, Comcast Campus is an “image place”, a strong image in the measure of Comcast and its emblematic company, NBC Universal.
Comcast is intimately, intensely, pertinently linked to image. Comcast Campus, with its acceleration corridor, its market, Universal Square, its hotel, its belvedere, will be intimately, intensely, pertinently linked to images and their communication.
At the center of this new campus, “Universal Square” is a unique place that continues the adventure that was begun with The Comcast Experience, that exceptional visual tool that brings together the best technology, art and images of the contemporary world as an witness to the spirit of creativity and technological research that is integral to the history of Comcast.
Just as the Comcast Experience creates a new perception of images, images create a new perception of Comcast Campus. For here architecture is created by images, by their vibration, reflections, flashes of light. The “light image” gives each of the elements of Comcast Campus its unique quality.
This “light-image” makes new places. While the cinema fan is a prisoner of closed spaces, and the pedestrian passively submits to the fixed solicitations of advertising screens in public places, and the Internet user dialogues with a small screen in solitude, the visitor to Comcast Campus is immersed in places with new typologies that allow him to develop a different relationship with images.
In Universal Square images take on a natural, evident form. They are experienced naturally by the visitor. In the sports café, at the Screen Club, in the lounges of Universal Square or the hotel rooms, guests discover a new relationship with images, alone, as a couple, with a small group or in a crowd. Universal Square not only gives a new status and a new dimension to images, it offers a new way of living.
It is about reveling in images that cannot be seen in the real world, that are beyond our capacity of perception, from the infinitely large to the infinitely small. It is about opening new windows onto the world, creating a sense of ubiquity that allows us to understand it. It is about immersing ourselves in surprising or reassuring worlds steeped in science or in art. It is about sharing events and rituals that bring the people of Philadelphia together at key moments in the life of the city, the region or the country.
Universal Square offers many ways to experience images. Together they show the amazing diversity of images and their power to bring people together. It begins with images falling from the sky down the image mast that rises over Universal Square. Then images invade the base of the tower at the Comcast Collection, which acknowledges the integral place of images in the business of Comcast. Images are present in the office common areas. The hotel rooms are filled with images on themes connected with the pleasure of being there, of looking for a certain well-being.
Universal Square is also a profitable place. Individuals, associations or companies or can rent Universal Square. All the screens can broadcast the same image, or images on the same theme, or different images according to the places and needs in each place. Whatever the time, the day, or the season, Comcast Campus can be transformed by anyone. The simultaneous requisition of the majority of the screens, controlled from a central control room, can occur during popular political, musical or sporting events.
DATES Competition: 29.04.2013
LOCATION 1800 Arch Street, Philadelphia, USA
CLIENT Joint venture, private: Liberty Property Trust and Comcast Corporation (Philadelphia, USA)
ARCHITECT Jean NOUVEL - Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris, FR)
LOCAL ARCHITECTS Ewing COLE
ASSISTING ARCHITECT TO JEAN NOUVEL Aurélien COULANGES
DIRECTEUR CONCEPTION Emmanuel BLAMONT
PROJECT DIRECTOR Brian WAIT
PROJECT LEADERS Marie-Hélène BALDRAN, David FAGART
ARCHITECTS Chen CHEN, Stacy EISENBERG, Alain GVOZDENOVIC, Elen LE DEZ, Samuel MAYANOBE, André PROCOPIO, Susana VITORIA
MODELISATION 3D Ikbal BOUAITA, Michael GLOUDEMAN, Narjis LEMRINI
COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGES Benjamin ALCOVER, Michael GLOUDEMAN, Mickael KAFASSI, Mizuho KISHI
GRAPHIC DESIGN Raphaelle ISHKINAZI, Eugénie ROBERT, Vatsana TAKHAM, Elise TAPONIER
INTERIOR DESIGN Sabrina LETOURNEUR, Floriane ABELLO (assistant)
LANDSCAPE Laura GIULIANI
MODEL Romain CAILLON, Samuel MAYANOBE, Rui PEREIRA
COST CONSULTANT Ewing COLE
Structure: WSP Cantor Seinuk
Building services: WSP Flack & Kurtz
Façades: Israel BERGER
Fire Protection: Ewing COLE
Vertical circulation: Lerch BATES
Environment: Built Ecology
Lighting design: AJN
CONTRACT TYPE Competition, not selected
PROGRAM 280meter mixed use tower, 206 room hotel including 38 suites, conference center, museum, covered market, public forum, public garden
Ground floor: Covered market and public forum
1st – 48th floors: Offices
50 – 60 floors: Hotel and Conference Center
Hotel: 23.000 m²
Restaurant: 8.000 m²
Congress center: 16.600 m²
Retail : 11.000 m²
Car park: 2.500 m²
USABLE FLOOR AREA 125.000 m²
GROSS FLOOR AREA 145 000 m²