Steel Shots: Elevating the Philadelphia Skyline

Comcast Innovation and Technology Center construction. (Top photo: Courtesy of Steel Fab, Inc. Bottom photo: Blake Arevalos via CTBUH) 

The 1,120-ft Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will soon be the tallest building in Philadelphia. Built as a companion structure to the Comcast Center, the 60-story mixed-use tower is vertically stepped, with state-of-the-art television studios for NBC at the base and a 12-story hotel above, as well as two levels of underground space.

The building features steel framing and deck, a concrete central stepping core and a unitized curtain wall system with stainless steel cladding. The tower’s facades will be adorned with with a series of 13 three-story sky gardens, which will draw a continuous strand of vegetation through the building, and a 200-ft architectural “lantern” will top the building. With special consideration given to Philadelphia’s climate, the project is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The scheme takes advantage of the city’s temperate spring, summer and autumn to welcome as much daylight as possible, and incorporates a chilled beam system to help cool the interior. The building’s structure and podium shelter the outdoor spaces, protecting Comcast Plaza from harsh winter winds. The building is projected to open next year.

A tour of the project site is available as part of SteelDay (September 30). AISC and leaders from the project team of Thornton Tomasetti and Steel Fab, Inc. (an AISC member/certified fabricator) will give a lunch presentation on the challenges of the project before the site tour begins. The event is free to attend; however, pre-registration is required.