Project File: A second life

A former, vacant Philadelphia Inquirer printing facility has been adapted and transformed into the School District of Philadelphia's headquarters.

Exterior windows were added to provide natural light to the windowless printing facility. A three-story interior atrium was created to provide a large common area for school district business and community exhibitions, performances and other events. Special design attention was given to the two entrances, pedestrian plazas and lobbies to encourage street/building interaction.

The School Reform Commission and the district purchased the building and consolidated its four separate administrative and storage sites into one renovated building. This saved an estimated $1.2 million in annual operating expenses and allows opportunities for partnerships with local educational entities.

The architect is Hooper Shiles Architects (Wayne, Pa.). The structural engineer is Thornton Tomasetti (Newark, N.J.), and the MEP engineer is Cannon Design (New York City).

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