Award of Excellence: Masonry Category
From Metal Foundry to Design House
Submitted by Sika Corporation
King of Prussia, PA
Masonry Preservation Group, Inc.
The needs and trends of different times drive the way human civilization evolves in every aspect of life. In the early 19th century, maritime defense was a huge focus, which led to the development of the Philadelphia Naval shipyard. A series of structures were constructed to serve different purposes for the shipyard, with Building #18, built in the early 1900s, housing a metal foundry. This masonry-clad building with a concrete roof was the only cross-shaped building in the shipyard.
In the late 1990s, restructuring led to the closure of many Navy-owned properties, including Building #18. Careful planning and imaginative thinking was used to reclaim this area for commercial activity. Urban Outfitters, one of the leading designer brands of our times, embraced the idea of taking old structures, preserving them, and retooling them for their different operations. This corporation has redesigned more than 10 buildings in this naval shipyard by working closely with the National Historic Preservation Society—a commitment to sustainability and preservation that is simply outstanding.
Building #18 was restored from a metal foundry to become the design headquarters for one of the leading brands of Urban Outfitters. This project would not have been successful without using the advanced techniques and products that the concrete and masonry repair industries have to offer. No other industry has these sustainability marvels to present and showcase to the masses as we do—very frequently and in style.