Woven metal mesh from Cambridge Architectural smartly and elegantly clads walls, desks and an elevator inside the impressive new Comcast Center building in downtown Philadelphia.
The 975-foot tall, glass-encased high-rise – the city’s tallest building – is also the nation’s tallest green office building. Designed to achieve LEED certification from the USGBC, architects and engineers sought out sustainable building elements for every square foot of the structure.
A Cambridge LandscapeInteriors™ woven metal fabric system was chosen to dress Comcast Center’s main lobby –one of the biggest attractions in the building. The mesh adds a state-of-the-art design aesthetic, complementing the lobby’s centerpiece, “The Comcast Experience” – a 2,100 square foot video wall displaying unique high-definition programming from nature footage to urban landscapes.
Cambridge’s product was a perfect fit for sustainable elevator, desk and wall cladding. The mesh and its corresponding attachment hardware are readily recyclable and were manufactured from recycled materials. Furthermore, stainless steel requires minimal maintenance and cleaning after installation and its life cycle far outlasts that of alternative products – perfect for a lobby that will see high levels of traffic every day.
“We pride ourselves on contributing to some of the most innovative and sustainable building projects in the country,” says Heather Collins, Director of Marketing for Cambridge Architectural. “Our architectural mesh was a perfect fit for Comcast Center, whose designers demanded a high-end look, but more importantly required that every building element reduce environmental impact.”
In terms of its striking visual appeal, Cambridge’s mesh immediately catches the eye of visitors entering the building, beautifully complementing the futuristic feel of the lobby while at the same time deviating from the more traditional components of the space.
“Cambridge’s mesh contrasted with the softness of the lobby’s natural wood walls, while contributing to the building’s overall tailored look with just the right texture,” says Serge Nalbantian, Director of Urban & National Projects for Liberty Property Trust, the building owner. “More than anything, we liked the texture.”
“The mesh certainly stands out and gives the lobby reception desks a look that goes above and beyond any I’ve ever seen,” says Ted Lloyd, Senior Project Manager for Patella Woodworking, general contractor for the project. “Cambridge did a great job with this project.”
As with all of their projects, Cambridge assisted and consulted with the Comcast Center team from initial design to final installation. This hands-on, design-build approach helped the team to better understand the product, and allowed Cambridge to develop an effective solution for cladding the unique shapes within the interior space.
“We also chose the mesh for its flexibility,” says Nalbantian. “Cambridge gave us a good selection of stainless steel, and even performed a custom installation to bend the fabric along the compound curve of the lobby desks.”
The LandscapeInteriors system was fabricated with mesh in Cambridge’s Ritz pattern, which features flexible open weaves that resemble jewelry chains and can be installed as window treatments, virtual space dividers or as dynamic design elements with track hardware.
Cambridge’s Panel™ tension attachment hardware was used to install the Ritz product. The metal fabric is first attached to a substrate such as MDF, and Z-clips join the panels to the substructure.
Construction on the Comcast Center was completed in June 2008. The project team consists of architect Robert A.M. Stern, New York, NY, contractor/installer Patella Woodworking, Mt. Laurel, NJ, elevator contractor Emco Elevator, Capital Heights, MD and owner Liberty Property Trust, Malvern, PA.
“The whole process went very smoothly,” says Ted Lloyd. “The architects had a dream, and Cambridge helped to make it happen.”