The new offices for the Olin Partnership, a landscape architecture firm, occupy 10,000 square feet on the 11th floor of the Public Ledger Building in Philadelphia. The building, designed in 1924 by Horace in an elaborate Georgian Revival style, overlooks Independence National Historical Park.
The existing space consisted of a series of small, dark offices flanking a narrow corridor. The corridor terminated in a two-story, elaborately detailed former ballroom with magnificent views of Independence Hall, the Delaware River and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Our firm designed an open plan to accommodate the studio work style of the Olin Partnership, and to enhance their inter-office communication.
The design concept for the renovation was the insertion of a clean, modern studio work space into the existing historic, heavily detailed space. We removed partitions along the existing center hall to create a spacious light-filled reception area leading to 4 glass-walled offices on the north side of the space. A lightweight steel frame was designed within the existing walls of the ballroom to provide additional workspace, while maintaining the airy, open volume and double height windows to the north and east. The painted steel frame of the loft contrasts starkly with the elaborate plaster moldings and cornices of the ballroom. The use of delicately figured Kasota stone and light, natural woods references the work and the materials used by the firm in their landscape planning and design work.