In honor of Sir Norman Foster's 79th birthday on Sunday, June 1st, we here at Curbed Philly would like to give you ten of the best quotes about his latest architectural triumph, the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center (CITC) at 1800 Arch Street. Soaring at 1,121 feet high, the expansive "vertical campus" will completely redefine the Philadelphia skyline. Let's start it off with a word from the man himself, shall we?
2) Inga Saffron's opening paragraph on the CITC's shifting of tech-norms from a suburban campus model to urban skyscraper:
"Until now, America's most glamorous tech companies have largely been housed in suburban oases, velvet prisons that offer employees endless supplies of vitamin water and protein bars, but require lengthy commutes in company caravans from San Francisco to the cluttered highway strips of Silicon Valley. There's plenty of interaction inside the bubble, but hardly any with the wider world." [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
3) Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, on the legacy of the CITC:
"We continue to be proud to call Philadelphia our home, and are thrilled to build a world-class media, technology and innovation center right in the heart of the City, to bring NBC 10 and Telemundo 62 downtown, and to create thousands of jobs and further drive economic activity in the region." [Comcast Voices]
4) John Gattuso, Liberty Property Trust's Senior Vice President & Urban Regional Director, on the need for an invigorating work space:
"Office space used to announce status within a company, or where and how you controlled your workers; now, it's got to be somewhere people want to work, like Glaxo for example, a place people choose to go to." [Hidden City]
5) Speaking of wanting to go to work, here's Dan McQuade on the slide featured in the renderings package:
"Now here's where the building gets cool. First off, there is a slide. A slide! Why doesn't every atrium-type room have slides? (Or at least fireman poles.) Think how much time you'd save going from the third floor to the first! Norman Foster combined McDonaldland with The Gallery and created the greatest room ever." [Philly Mag]
6) Followed by Philadelphia Business Journal's official Twitter account on the three-story slide:
"So the 2nd Comcast Tower has a water slide?"
[Twitter] 7) Bradley Maule on what makes the CITC the quintessential Philly proejct:
"I have to think it's about as Philly a building as we could get: it's full of conflict. Its design comes from Norman Foster, at the top of the top tier of architects, but it's not his best work. It's very good, but it's not the Gherkin. It shows a loyal, hometown commitment from Comcast–one of the most unpopular companies in the world, especially after the net neutrality ruling earlier this week. It'll be the tallest building in the city–thanks to a technicality. The 125' blade–the functional spire topping the building's core removed to the western side–sits atop a pedestal that itself is on top of the building's roof, which is shorter than Comcast Center's roof." [Hidden City]
8) Dan McQuade, yes again, on his excitement for the sky view, roof-top restaurant in the new Four Seasons Hotel:
"Holy crap this room is amazing - BUILD IT FIRST." [Philly Mag]
9) Andrew G., self-proclaimed New York Sports fan, on the design of the "blade" that extends 125 feet in the sky:
"Philly's Newest Skyscraper Built Like Middle Finger to flip off local sports teams 24/7 "
[Twitter] 10)Enrico Campitelli Jr. on whether a statue will adorn the CITC, because of that whole "curse" thing:
"Clearly this was the first thing you all thought of when the new skyscraper was announced yesterday." - [The 700 Level]
And one more for good luck!
11) Sir Norman Foster on the CITC as a window of Philadelphia:
"This is a very special project. It is an opportunity to create a unique and sustainable model for mixed-use, high density development, which uniquely combines spaces for high tech research and development with restaurants, gardens, fitness facilities and a significant public reception space – a window on Philadelphia. At ground level this 'urban room' embraces the city; it opens the building to the public and anchors it as a vital new neighborhood. It also links directly into the below ground public transport system. Above this, the highly flexible loft-like spaces and studios are designed for a dynamic way of working – an engine for the city's evolution as the kind of leading technology hub presently associated with Silicon Valley." [Comcast Voices]