Monday, October 3, 2011
Urban Outfitters Coporate Campus Part 1
I had the privilege of attending a private tour of the Urban Outfitters corporate campus, located in south Philadelphia former Navy Yard. This campus isn't merely a collection of isolated loft buildings that happen to have a great industrial-age bones; it is part of a ready made city, urban in its own way.
Just a brief history, the Navy Yard served as a ship building and repair facility from 1868 through 1996. Decommissioned, it's 187 buildings were abandoned. In 2004, the 1,000-acre National Historic District was mastered planned for redevelopment an evolution from public to private use. When Urban Outfitters, inc., first considered the site, the existing structures were dilapidated. Despite the decay, the soul of the Navy Yard spoke to company's founder, Dick Hayne. He purchased four historic buildings with one that was constructed from 1880 through 1939. Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle transformed four dilapidated historic buildings in the Navy Yard into an adaptive reuse headquarters.
The company's five retail brands-Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN (bridal line) and Terrain (home) design studios and offices are housed within each building. What was so unique is that as you walked in each building of each brand, the buildings were designed to fit each brand. Even the employees mirrored the brands they designed for.
Looking at the workspace of Urban inc., I hope everyone is inspired.