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August 22, 2019

Master plans unveiled for striking red skyscraper next to 30th Street Station

Brandywine Realty Trust's two towers, and an accompanying park, will transform the gateway to University City

Development Architecture
Schuylkill Yards East West Towers rendering 1 Contributed image/PAU

The East and West Towers at Schuylkill Yards will offer retail, office, and residential space near University City and 30th Street Station.

Brandywine Realty Trust unveiled master plans Thursday for the first two mixed-use towers at Schuylkill Yards, the rapidly-developing area near 30th Street Station and Drexel University, including a striking, 512-foot-tall red skyscraper.

The towers, designed in partnership with global architecture firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, will be called the East Tower and the West Tower, and will add 16,000 square feet of combined retail space, along with office space in both towers and residential space in the West Tower.

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The East Tower is the more immediately noticeable of the two in Brandywine's renderings, painted a unique red color that Brandywine says is inspired by the brick and terra-cotta of the Fisher Fine Arts Library on Penn's campus. The East Tower is also segmented into three distinct chunks of space, with green space separating the floors and Brandywine said the building is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

Schuylkill Yards Brandywine East Tower

The West Tower, the more traditional-looking of the two buildings, will intentionally be a more muted tower, colored with neutral tones.

“As we continue to make our vision for Schuylkill Yards a reality, a set of guiding principles has remained at the forefront of our design approach: be courageous, creative and bold," Brandywine President and CEO Jerry Sweeney said in a release Thursday. 

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"Act with integrity for the surrounding community. Prioritize people by bringing beauty and delight to the ground plane. Create connection points for people and their communities to thrive."

Construction on the towers is expected to begin some time next year, Brandywine said.

The plans also begin to detail what will be called The Highline Park, a stretch of green space and outdoor event space with art installations, water features, and dynamic lighting, according to Brandywine. The park takes its name from a nickname for the West Philadelphia Elevated, a Pennsylvania Railroad line that cuts from the Schuylkill Expressway through both Drexel and Penn's campuses.

Highline Park Schuylkill Yards rendering

The park will comprise part of what Brandywine says will eventually total 6.5 acres of green space in the Schuylkill Yards area.

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