Cira Centre+ expand detail
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
735,000 square feet / 68,000 square meters
Opened in 2005, Cira Centre is among the Philadelphia’s first new skyscrapers in more than a decade. The 435-foot tall office tower is a half mile west of Center City, Philadelphia’s downtown, along the Schuylkill River. Adjacent to a train station and an interstate highway, the building connects to valuable transportation nodes.
Standing apart from the city’s cluster of tall buildings, the tower is a singular object, designed to change in character when seen from different angles and at different times of the day. Its angled, sculptural form is sheathed in a sleek, reflective surface, giving the tower a crystalline, forward-looking presence. Surrounded by low buildings and the river, the building can be fully seen from several directions. To take advantage of this, the curtain wall was constructed to include LED lights that change color according to the occasion — red, white, and blue on Independence Day and green when the Philadelphia Eagles win.
Cira Centre is the first installment of a long-term master plan to develop a neighborhood around the 30th Street Station, one of the busiest train stations in the United States. The 28-story tower rises from a platform over the rail yard, between the train station and Amtrak’s enclosed parking garage. A grand, light-filled foyer links the three buildings and promotes quick and intuitive connections for commuters and office workers. A suspended mezzanine-level pedestrian walkway cuts through the foyer and links to a sky bridge over into the train station, reinforcing the architecture’s sense of movement. The glass curtain wall extends to form a porte-cochere, creating a distinctive and inviting street-level entrance to the tower.
Cira Centre includes several sustainable features, starting with its site. Built over an existing rail yard, it reuses land that has previously been developed. In addition, its proximity to the train station reduces commuting times and promotes the use of public transportation. The building includes high-performance glass, reducing the energy required for cooling. Enhancing these features, two tenants of the building fit out their interiors to achieve LEED certification.