The Battery is a highly anticipated redevelopment of one of Philadelphia’s (and the world’s) most influential waterfront properties.
Dating back to 1917, the building served as the former Delaware Generation Station, Philadelphia Electric Co., and the former home to “PECO Towers”. Sitting above Penn Treaty Park, along the banks of 1,000 feet of the Delaware River waterfront, the plant provided the city with enough electricity to empower Philadelphia’s 20th-century economy. Now it is a once-in-a-generation project led by Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds and a world-class team of multifamily and commercial real estate professionals.
For years, the property has sat vacant, adorned with creative tags from urban explorers and curious visitors. Now, the grand structure is getting a new life as flexible-stay apartments, and a hub for forward-thinking companies that will feature culturally-influential programming and waterfront activation.
...A glorious ruin that is being restored and converted into a mixed-use hub by Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds.Inga Saffron, The Philadelphia Inquirer
One million square foot campus: the former power plant is 223,000 square feet in scale, spanning almost a thousand feet of waterfront, sitting on 16.4 acres of park-like land.
One of four power plants situated along the Delaware River designed by legendary John T. Windram, of The Franklin Institute and Family Court fame, the property’s future vision can be compared to that of the Tate in London. The plans are to juxtapose the distinctive beauty with creative, culturally-relevant uses and tenants in order to author the next chapter of this relic.
The building is the stuff of dreams, and its reuse is a preservation challenge worth accepting.WHYY Philadelphia
Lubert-Adler is also working to return Louis Kahn’s floating performance hall to his hometown, a short walk from where he grew up at Second and Poplar Streets. Philadelphia’s Louis Kahn is widely considered one of the greatest architects of the 20th century, yet only a handful of his works can be found in his hometown.
The hall is a floating musical stage that was built for the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations, and then traveled the globe taking music and a message of world peace to waterfront cities. The tricked-out barge, called Point Counterpoint II, would be permanently docked The Battery and turned into a public amenity for Philadelphia to be used for concerts and other cultural events.
Why is it relevant for businesses?
The Battery is designated locally and nationally as an historic site and also benefits from Pennsylvania’s Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) program which provides significant economic incentive for most startups and tech companies (think: tax abatement). Additionally, the area is undergoing a master planning and improvement effort by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) that will connect the casino to Penn Treaty park and further down along the trail so that it will become one of the most walkable outdoor destinations in Philadelphia – something hugely valuable to employers as they convince employees to come back to the workplace. This site will be the city’s only indoor-outdoor work environment of this caliber that will also include amenities shared with flexible-stay guests and apartment dwellers alike – waterfront access, programming for wellness and fitness, new F&B concepts and more.
Creating a visual language for the Battery
A significant landmark to be renovated and repurposed, The Battery once produced enough energy to power all of Philadelphia. Today, the allure of The Battery lies in the staggering potential to envision a new kind of energy, powered by a shared sense of purpose, people, and place.
A set of historic elements uniquely identifiable with the Philadelphia Electric Company’s past, the use of modern overlays and a constant visual juxtaposition remind the viewer that The Battery is authoring that next chapter.
We’re embracing the rich visual history of this property and the “stamp” it left on Philadelphia – from the electric grid to the economic impact of electricity in the early 20th century – we are honoring this past through our role in branding and storytelling for the redevelopment.
From the beginning of our process, we pushed ourselves to imagine Philadelphia’s next great waterfront development as not a single building or historic property, but as a true destination to be embraced by visitors and locals alike.
For a brand system, we imagined The Battery as a destination equivalent of a museum – considering how multiple brands, food concepts, apartments, flexible-stay options, and public amenity spaces will all collide in one engaging waterfront campus. The identity system must be flexible enough to accommodate all these ideal use-cases, and we aimed to future-proof the identity by considering the property’s full potential from the very start.
Creating a World-Class Destination
Originally created as a showpiece of Philadelphia’s ingenuity and industrial might, the building deserves to remain a destination for Philadelphia’s future: “With roaring motor rooms, a plexus of ventilation systems, and cavernous turbine halls, the stations were designed to astound and seduce the public with modern technology through commanding architecture that asserted both tradition and progress.” – Hidden City Philadelphia
Today, while determining how this grand relic will again become a world-class destination for businesses, residential, visitors and cultural exhibits – we defined the naming hierarchy, branding system, and initial lease-up marketing materials to support the project vision.
If all comes to fruition as envisioned with the latest redelopment, The Battery will again be equipped to stand the test of time, as a powerful landmark for Philadelphia and the world.
You don't set out to compete, you just do things differently.Dean Adler