CONTEXT - Summer 2022

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THE WORKPLACE Creative Workspaces The Hospital and IndoorCommunityAirQuality

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CONTEXT is published by A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-569-3186, The opinions expressed in this – or the representations made by advertisers, including copyrights and warranties, are not those of the editorial staff, publisher, AIA Philadelphia, or AIA Philadelphia’s Board of Directors. All rights reserved.

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 1 FEATURES 12 Creativity by Design by Katherine Gluckselig, Hanna Negami, Rebecca Milne, and Bob Condia 16 The Hospital and Community by Tony Bracali 20 Indoor Air Quality Demands in Pandemic Era by Sherman Aronson 22 The Pulse on the Philly Workplace Spring 2022 by Matthew W. Frederick & Danielle Noel Suggestions? Comments? Questions? Tell us what you think about the latest issue of CONTEXT magazine by emailing A member of the CONTEXT editorial committee will be sure to get back to you. SUMMER 2022 IN THIS ISSUE , we share different perspectives of how the workplace has been a work in progress both in our moment and through history

ON THE COVER Cover Art by Ling Zhong.

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Todd Woodward, AIA, SMP Architects BOARD MEMBERS

Fauzia Sadiq Garcia, Director of Education

Danielle DiLeo Kim, AIA, Director of Strategic Engagement

Jeff Goldstein, FAIA, President Rob Fleming, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, President-Elect

Timothy Kerner, AIA, Terra Studio

Julie Bush, ASLA, Ground Reconsidered

Clarissa Kelsey, AIA, At-Large Director

Ross Silverman, Assoc. AIA, LEED Green Associate, SEED, Director of Philadelphia Emerging Architects

Tya Winn, NOMA, LEED Green Associate, SEED, Public Member

Jeff Pastva, AIA Scannapieco Development Corporation


AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 3 CONTEXT EDITORIAL BOARD

Robert Shuman, AIA, LEED AP, Treasurer Soha St. Juste, AIA, Past President Rich Vilabrera, Jr., Assoc. AIA, Secretary

Sophia Lee, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP B+C, At-Large Director

Mike Penzel, Assoc. AIA, Director of Philadelphia Emerging Architects

Scott Compton, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, AIA PA Representative

Brian Smiley, AIA, CDT, LEED BD+C, Director of Sustainability + Preservation

Daryn Edwards, AIA, CICADA Architecture Planning

Fátima Olivieri - Martínez, AIA, Director of Design Kevin Malawski, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Advocacy

Fauzia Sadiq Garcia, RA, Temple University

Laurie Churchman, Designlore, Art Director

Parallel Edge has focused on providing Outsourced IT support for AEC firms and other companies specifically working with the built environment. Outsourced IT Services when IT is not what you do. 610.293.0101

Timothy A. Kerner, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Professional Development

David Zaiser, AIA, HDR STAFF Rebecca Johnson, AIA Philadelphia Executive Director Elizabeth Paul, Managing Editor

Erin Roark, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Equity, Diversity + Inclusion

Jody Canford, Advertising Manager, Anne Bigler,, Design Consultant

Eli Storch, AIA, Looney Ricks Kiss Franca Trubiano, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Clifton Fordham, RA, Temple University

Kenneth Johnson, Esq., MCP, AIA, NOMA, PhilaNOMA Representative Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director 1996

Milton Lau, AIA, BLT Architects

Harris M. Steinberg, FAIA, Drexel University

Phil Burkett, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP NCARB, Director of Firm Culture + Prosperity Erick Oskey, AIA, Director of Technology + Innovation



David Brownlee, Ph.D., FSAH, University of Pennsylvania

Michael Johns, FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Director of Equitable Communities

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Undoubtedly, those of us who have benefited from a schedule have had that schedule up ended in the past two years. Our moment reminds us that the place we work should not be taken for granted, for it has always been a work in progress. In this issue, we have gathered different perspectives of the current workplace from practitioners in the real estate and design professions. Our subjects and authors question our places of work for the air we breathe, their roles in the community, and as facilitators for creativity.


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History is not on the side of the Workplace. In Work: A Deep History from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots, Jame Suzman observes that “our ancestors hunted and gathered for well over 95 percent of Homo sapiens’ 300,000-year-old history”. The Agrarian Revolution only began about 10,000 years ago when we stopped roaming and stayed put to farm. We proceeded to divide up our labors. Workplaces were established. Our populations grew as we reached the apex of the food chain on our planet. Keeping regular schedules has taken precedence over a way of living that once necessitated reaction to nuances in the environment.

The Workplace

As of this writing in the summer of 2022, the environment has been re-asserting its presence big time, redirecting our lives and places. According to the US Bureau of Statistics, 47.8 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, the highest for a year on record. The Great Resignation is the tagline that has emerged, and it is easy to lay the blame solely on the Pandemic and forced work-from-home. Droughts, forest fires, racial tensions, inequities in pay, child-care responsibilities, supply-chain issues, and skirmishes big and small are other factors disturbing our sense of balance.

We launched some websites! Years in the making, we are pleased to present our newly reconstructed websites for AIA Philadelphia and the Center for Architecture and Design. Both sites feature an engaging online community feature where you can create an online profile and view special content, connect with peers, join exclusive committee microsights, register for events, and share stories about your work or business.


Another reason this issue is special is that it is the first issue of CONTEXT Magazine to be launched as a digital and print publica tion. You can check out all of the features and design profiles in this issue online at I want to thank our CONTEXT Editorial Committee and our staff Elizabeth Paul, Communications Director, Juli Foley, Director of Membership and Events, and Daphne Gsell, Volunteer Engagement and Content Coordinator — for all your help getting CONTEXT Magazine online!

Joining the AIA Philadelphia and/or the Center for Architecture and Design online communities is FREE and open to EVERYONE. Sign up today and unlock the possibilities.

As an industry that creates places and spaces — we know that place is incredibly important and valuable to people and businesses, however, how we use those spaces is evolving. We need Architects to design spaces that can adapt and evolve, as our society and planet does. This is no small feat. The arti cles in this issue frame three specific and significant challenges that architects will face with respect to workplaces. Sharing these challenges and potential solutions is something that AIA will con tinue to prioritize to support our members, helping to advance knowledge and elevate the design expertise of our community.

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Welcome to Summer 2022 and our latest edition of CONTEXT Magazine. This issue focuses on the workplace. Before two years ago, perhaps most of us took our workplaces for granted and considered them necessities in our operating mod els. Today, I think we all are re-prioritizing what we need physical workspaces for — and how to amplify what was important about working together in one location, and disregarding and eliminat ing what was not essential or useful.

CenterAIAExecutiveRebeccaRebecca,Cheers,JohnsonDirectorPhiladelphia/Architecture +

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in AIA Philadelphia’s Design Awards if your firm and your project submis sion can meet the following criteria.

The 2022 Forum will take place at the Center for Architecture + Design, conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. The Center is the home of AIA Philadelphia.

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• Your firm has substantial design authorship of the project submitted.

• Built projects must have been completed within the last five years, or after January 1, 2016. Unbuilt projects must have been commissioned to be built within the last five years, or after January 1, 2017. And don’t miss out on your chance to participate in the annual member exhibition. Submissions for the awards and the member exhibition are due August 19, 2022.


Save the date for the 2022 Forum on Architecture and Design — November 9-11, 2022. Mark your calendars for AIA Philadelphia’s regional education and expo conference. The Forum on Archi tecture and Design focuses on curating multidisciplinary educational content for designers, civic leaders, product manufacturers, technology providers, and real estate developers - all the industries that contribute to shaping our built environment.


• The project being submitted was designed by staff in the Philadelphia Member Firm office.

• The submission has been authorized by a principal or partner of the firm.

• Over 30 accredited continuing education programs and tours, • compelling keynote sessions featuring nationally/ internationally recognized industry leaders, • a two-day expo, and • several opportunities to network and socialize with leaders in the building and design professions.

ARE YOU AN ALLIED MEMBER OR ANOTHER ORGANIZATION looking to market your products and/ or services to architects, planners, landscape architects, contractors, trades, civic leaders, and engineers? Contact Jermaine Jenkins,, to learn more about the benefits of exhibiting or sponsorship. Oppor tunities to exhibit or showcase your company exclusively are limited. Gather your best projects and prepare your photographs, it’s Design Awards submission season. Submission forms are now live and accessible fromYourwww.airphiladelphia.orgfirmiseligibletoparticipate

• Have held the primary design responsibility, functioning as lead designer in cases of joint-venture teams.

• Your firm is a Philadelphia Chapter Firm Member in good standing.


The first Saturday and Sunday of the festival will feature family friendly events at Cherry Street Pier and other locations.


Jefferson hosts their annual Textile Design Symposium at the Center for Architecture and Design where the DesignPhilly curated exhibition Design is Inclusive is on display featuring a diverse panel of textile designers. So many more fantastic programs are in the works. Visit www. later this summer to stay up to date on the latest calendar of events.

Excitement is building for the 2022 DesignPhiladelphia Festival! Presented by Thomas Jefferson University, the 12-day celebration of design runs from Wednesday October 12 through Sunday October 23 with programming taking place throughout the city. Here are a few of the highlights we have brewing.

The Festival event not to be missed, the Kickoff Party is the design party of the year.


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Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission (SBRM) Helping the Hungry, Homeless & Hurting Wood Planter Box Inspiration for Material&ConstructionIntegrated Seat Option A Integrated Seat Option                     Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission serves those experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. The Mission o ers an array of homeless day services and clinics to men and women. Working with the Collaborative’s volunteers the team was able to quickly propose deployable design solutions to address a range of concerns including: 1) Social distancing con-cerns at queue line related toCOVID-19. 2) Food distribution via newGrab & Go service, 3) Strategies for interiorupdates to dining spaces, and 4) Logistics and interiorupdates for the cage area. HOK, Caitlin Youngster Studio CCLA Carolyn Campbell, CLARB Betsy Way, Associate AIA LRK, Inc., Alex Bruce, AIA, CPHC Jeffrey Brummer Architects Jeffrey J. Brummer, AIA Caritas Construction, Jody Arena Robin J. Kohles, Registered Architect Interface Studio, Yoona Ahn, Urban Designer Sabrena Wishart, Volunteer AKRF, Inc., Kevin Flynn

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Considerations for health and safety — both real and perceived? These are the investigations that Collaborative clients and volunteers have wrestled with for the past two years as they planned for both the unknown and the inevitable.

Our work now has a new sense of urgency as we aim to best equip our nonprofit partners with the ammunition they need to move forward boldly. This has permeated our strategic planning as the Collaborative staff and leadership plan for our immediate future. With it came a new mission that focuses on what we do best. The Community Design Collaborative partners with communities to envision the environments where they live, work, play, and thrive. Working in service and in tandem with our clients to best leverage their lived experience and place-based knowledge, while bringing our design expertise to help birth their ideas. Ideas that can catalyze, question, and respond to the issues around them. As we embark on our next three years, we are committed to increasing our impact. Philadelphia communities are contemplating in real-time how the past few years have affected them. We can catalogue exacerbated problems and others that emerged that impact public health, stable housing, economic stability, and individual and collective happiness. We are committed to continuing to use design as a tool to ensure equitable outcomes for people. We believe the design process is fundamentally about people and communities, who should be at the center of creating the spaces they want to live, work, and play.

2022 saw the Community Design Collaborative team move back into our renovated office, heralding the promise of the start of the new normal. This has given us the opportunity to think about the environment where we work. We have embraced the hybrid style of work with more flexible spaces to support our collaborative work style. These changes to our shared space at the Center for Architecture were necessary to facilitate the best workflow as we prepare to bring on new staff and complete some necessary upgrades to our systems.

The Collaborative team is not alone in this preparation. Companies and firms are too questioning what their new modus operandi will be in this new environment. What tools will facilitate new workflows? How will our spaces support revisions to working conditions?

But not only has Vishaan Chakrabarti written a book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for Urban America (2013), that’s frequently found on the shelf alongside those great thinkers, the 56-year-old architect and planner is constantly working, putting muscle behind his faith that the urbanist virtues of density and public space are key to making the world a better place.

“Rather than the kinds of work, it’s important to talk about the sizes and cultures of the offices,” Chakrabarti says. “Government and design firms are both very collaborative. They’re environments that can’t entire BY JOANN GRECO

From there, his career trajectory morphed and shape-shifted between government (notably, a stint as planning director for Manhattan during the Bloomberg era), practice (at a smaller studio, SHoP), real estate (Relat ed Companies and Vornado Realty Trust) and academia (teaching real es tate development at Columbia and most recently assuming the deanship of University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design). Not surprisingly, he has thoughts on how varied workplaces might fare going forward, especially as the pandemic accelerates our adaptation of technologies like virtual meetings and asynchronous learning.

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The urbanist pantheon — Jan Gehl, Jane Jacobs, Fred Kent, Leon Kreir, William H. Whyte and the like — is replete with those who, even if they do practice architecture or planning, have made their name principally as theorists.

Primed for a life “as a good Indian boy who would study engineer ing,” the Kolkota-born Chakrabarti immigrated to the United States with his family when he was a toddler. He dutifully majored in engineer ing (and art history) at Cornell and upon graduation briefly joined the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a transportation planner before moving on to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as an urban planner. He left the firm then came back again, armed with advanced degrees in architecture and city planning.


In Philadelphia, those precepts are playing out in his involvement in the design and planning for Schuylkill Yards, the mega mixed-use devel opment under construction near 30th Street Station. Also ahead: a new book for 2023, The Architecture of Urbanity: Designing Cities for Plural ism and Planet that more closely look at how cities can address climate change and equity issues, and several high-visible projects undertaken by his firm PAU, including the expansion of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a master plan for Detroit’s Michigan Central Station, and the adaptive re-use of Brooklyn’s iconic Domino Sugar Refinery.

Chakrabarti was a partner at SHoP when the firm developed the master plan for Schuylkill Yards, and PAU is the architect behind its JFK

Although he likes the idea of coworking, he’s “less bullish” on hotel ing because it’s “unclear yet how to make people feel that they are part of a team. The real estate savings may not be not worth the loss of workplace culture. Also, there’s a huge piece of me that worked for city government that understands that in order to have parks, sub ways, schools and all of our other social infrastructure, we need a really strong tax base and office buildings need to remain a critical part of that Obviously,mix.”the challenges facing big cities are compounded by oth er factors, such as cost of living, crime, and the sorry state of public schools. “It’s interesting that New York City elected a former police officer as mayor,” Chakrabarti says. “There’s a deep pragmatic streak from people who remember the ‘70s, they don’t want those days to return.” That mindset is particularly significant for a one-industry town like San Francisco, since tech workers can be nomadic and aren’t espe cially place-loyal, he continues. “If you ask people why they live in San Francisco, they’ll tell you that they can get to nature in an hour,” he says. “But ask the same question in London or New York or Tokyo and I guarantee the response won’t be ‘because I can leave easily….’”

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 11 ly be replaced or replicated by technology and they thrive on small teams. Academia is a bit different,” he continues. “Faculty has always gravitated toward the solo work of research and writing. Still, the experience of being in a classroom and on campus together is hard to duplicate.”Howthisall plays out for downtowns is up in the air, he believes. “Cities are now for people who love them,” Chakrabarti proclaims, echoing the opening salvo of a New York Daily News op-ed he penned earlier this year. “I bring my experience from post-9/11 to this. Skyscrapers were dead, cities were dead, and all the rest, and I think what lies behind a lot of those kinds of prognostications is an anti-city bias, a funda mentally flawed premise that human beings don’t like being around each other. That we only started congregating and producing out of economic necessity. But most early cities weren’t just markets, they were spiritual centers, they were cultural magnets. The notion that young people will be content with graduating from college, living in their parents’ basements and Zooming while wearing their sweatpants is absurd.” Which isn’t to say that how we work together won’t look different.

Towers, two buildings with more than 1.5 million square feet of office, residential and retail space. “I’m a huge believer in creating this whole other node and have been since before terms like ’15 minute city’ became popular,” he says. “If there’s any place to do that, it’s there. Schuylkill Yards a case study for when it comes to investing in great buildings and public spaces. At PAU we are always pulling for making a public environment more diverse and inclusive with spaces to buy and eat a sandwich, to protest, and to encounter the unexpected,” he continues. “With Drexel Square, there was a lot of back and forth about adding another building versus open space. We argued for the latter as an anchor and asset for the neighborhood. The world lives in a set of bubbles and often my job is to break down those boundaries and create connection.”

In many ways, the development is the perfect project for a guy who in his first book linked true urbanism with “trains, towers and trees.”

JFK Towers along JFK Boulevard at Schuylkill Yards with 30th Street Station in the foreground.

JoAnn Greco is a freelance writer and frequent contributor for PlanPhilly, the Philadelpia Inquirer, and Philadelphia Daily News

As for Philadelphia, he praises its great cultural institutions and rel atively affordable housing but says the “clear sense that people have a notion of what it means to be a Philadelphian is what’s really key. That’s what’s going to make great cities greater, post-pandemic.”

In a recent TED talk, he offers a solution that reconciles the need for the world to eventually house another couple of billion people with the necessity of building those domiciles so they are carbon negative. Neither suburban-style single family homes with their attendant sprawl and car-centric lifestyles nor urban towers are the answer. Instead, he imagines row homes, amped up in scale to hold dozens of family units and adorned with solar panels and other green tools. “The answers are hiding in plain sight,” he concludes. “We just have to look for them.” n

With over twenty-five years of proven experience authoring and implement ing visionary urban architecture, Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Founder and Creative Director of PAU and the author of the highly acclaimed book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America.


Still, he acknowledges that Philadelphia’s big shoulders squarely rest on a base of thousands of small single-family homes. “I’ve come a long way since 2013,” he admits freely. “I will always love a great skyscraper but my thinking and work has gravitated toward low-rise, high-density.”


Where are people most creative? An exploration of famous creative workspaces finds studios, workshops, and other environments that are as unique as the personalities who inhabited them. The author E. B. White is said to have written most of Charlotte’s Web in a simple boathouse with a view of the water.

Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist who shattered barriers in the art world, worked in a light-filled studio adorned with artifacts representing her relationships and personal history. A number of world-changing busi ness ideas came to life in garages (Disney, Amazon, Dyson) and dorm rooms (Facebook, Google, Yahoo!), while coffee shops are the venue of choice for authors J. K. Rowling and Malcolm Gladwell. What, if any thing, do these spaces have in common? Is there a connection between one’s immediate physical environment and their ability, or inclination, to think creatively?

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Researchers have explored the discrete effects of the built environment on creativity. For instance, in a 2013 study, research ers Anna Steidle and Lioba Werth found that dim lighting reduced inhibition and elicited experimental behavior, providing a feeling of “freedom from constraints.”9 Other researchers have asked man agers to predict how creative they would be in different types of environments; this work found that offices that have more plants, cooler colors, bright lighting, lower visual complexity, and an information source (e.g., a computer) are associated with greater predictedBeyondcreativity.10thesefew findings, however, not much is well under

Psychological research has parsed creativity, in all its complexity, into distinct types, phases, and measures. One model, developed by Dr. James C. Kaufman and Dr. Ronald Beghetto, describes four types of creativity ranging in scale from “mini-c,” or personal creativity, to “Big-C,” the genius-level breakthroughs that leave a mark on the world.3 As a process, creativity is commonly understood as occurring in stages labeled as some variation of Preparation, Incubation, Illu mination, and Verification.4 Viewed as a quantifiable skill, creativity is often measured by creative output (i.e. the quantity or quality of creative solutions produced) or creative potential (having to do with personality, creative thought, and behavior).5

Creativity is often characterized as an elusive or even mystical construct. Rigorously studied across different fields, it has been described as a process, an insight, a phenomenon, a mindset, and a skill. The Hungarian-American psychologist and researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines creativity as “any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.”1 A simpler definition points to ideas that are both novel and useful to a particular situation.2

In his book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi devotes a chapter to creative sur roundings. Csikszentmihalyi posits that “surroundings can influence creativity in different ways, in part depending on the stage of the process in which a person is involved.” The preparation phase, he suggests, may benefit from “an ordered, familiar environment” that enables deep focus. Moving into the incubation stage, “novel stim uli” offer a welcome distraction, allowing the subconscious mind to wander and find connections between seemingly unrelated ideas. Once an insight is reached, a familiar and distraction-free environ ment supports “evaluation and elaboration.”8

With the rise of AI and machine automation, it is perhaps no surprise that creativity—a distinctively human skill—ranks high on the list of qualities that employers are looking for. Yet although creativity has been studied and dissected into distinct types, considerable resources are invested in cultivating creativity as a unitary construct, without knowing what the evidence-based strategies might be to support it.

2 ofdevelopmentUnconsciousINCUBATIONacreativeidea

Creativity is paramount in a world where knowledge work and technological innovation are among the driving forces of economic growth. The World Econom ic Forum predicts that creativity will be a top desired skill in the workplace by 2025.6 According to LinkedIn, creativity was already the most in-demand quality among job search applicants in 2020.7

The idea of designing for creativity is nothing new to architec ture, but the strategies designers employ are largely based on pro fessional observations and other anecdotal evidence. Particularly in corporate environments, many clients seek to tip the scales in favor of creativity. Some offices, such as those at Google, are notorious for their outlandishly playful interiors, but the trend extends far beyond tech; with an estimated one billion knowledge workers globally, creative workspaces are in-demand across a broad range of industries and professions. So, what are the characteristics of a creative environment?

Our interdisciplinary team—with backgrounds in design strategy, psychology, and architecture—worked together to explore these questions. Our background in investigating the role of architecture in creativity began with an earlier project on spatial ambiguity, which we posited may prime innovative thinking by presenting fewer constraints when interacting with a space.12 To explore creativity in the workplace, we expanded on this initial research with a pilot study funded by ONE Workplace’s ONEder Grant. To understand what kinds of environments might best support different phases of creativity, including the proverbial “aha” moments, we employed an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) in which participants are prompted multiple times a day to complete a survey. Studies using ESM allow researchers to sample people’s experiences in the moment, rather than recalling past experienc es from a temporal and physical distance. The participants who made up our initial sample were seventeen creative professionals at ONE Workplace, all of whom designated their work as being in architecture/design. Employees who expressed interest in par ticipating were sent a survey file and a link to a smartphone app. Participants loaded our survey file onto the app, which launched a schedule of two surveys a day for a week (excluding weekends) as they were pursuing creative tasks at work. Every time the app pinged them to complete a survey, each employee rated aspects of their environment (“This room looks: Impersonal – Personal” on a sliding scale); aspects of their creativity (“I had a moment of insight: Not at all – Extremely”); their posture (“Describe your posture: Closed – Open”); and their mood (“How do you feel right now? Very bad – Very good”). 3


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We found that “homey” environments were significantly associated with feelings of inspiration, illumination, and verifica tion. Although homey may not sound like a scientific term, it is in fact based in scientific research on psychological responses to the built environment and can be briefly defined as environments that feel cozy, natural, and personal.13 Our analyses showed no other significant relationships between the environment and creativity, including other phases of the creative process, or between creativ ity and posture or creativity and mood.

It was interesting to run our study at the height of the Omi cron variant of COVID-19 when many employees were working remotely. Our participants were at home (as opposed to the office, outside, or somewhere else) when taking a survey 78% of the time. Will we find that hominess has a similar effect outside the home when we sample more participants working from offices, cafes, and co-working spaces? Our findings, limited as they were due to the Omicron wave, raise important questions at a time when many businesses are moving to more permanent hybrid-work models. There’s been much investment in mak ing “creative spaces” at the office, but are people more creative when they are at home? In Creativity, Csikszentmihalyi writes, “We need a supportive symbolic ecology in the home so that we can feel safe, drop our defenses, and go on with the tasks of life. And to the extent that the symbols of the home represent essential traits and values of the self, they help us be more unique, more creative.”14 He suggests it is the personal cues that reflect back who we are and what we value that facilitate creativity. Indeed, the data from our preliminary study supports this idea—when we looked at individual relationships between creativity and the factors that make up “hominess” (a sense of being at home, a natural vibe, and a personal touch), we found more personal environments were associated with greater feelings of inspiration. Given this finding, are the less personalized, free-address office seating models that more businesses are turning to hindering creativity?

stood about creativity and the built environment—what aspects of the physical environment can support or hinder different stages of the creative process, and for whom? Some research suggests that the answers might depend on whether the creative work is independent or collaborative.11 Does the relationship between architectural design and creativity differ based on personality?

When businesses construct playful, innovative offices to promote creative work, are they promoting one part of the creative process at the expense of others? We hope to answer these questions by continuing our work to map out creativity in the built environ ment, test our intuitions about innovative workplace design, and inform design strategies to facilitate creative thinking.

13. Alexander Coburn, Oshin Vartanian, Yoed N. Kenett, Marcos Nadal, Franziska Hartung, Gregor Hayn-Leichsenring, Gorka Navarrete, José L. González-Mora, and Anjan Chatterjee, “Psychological and Neural Responses to Architectural Interiors,” Cortex 126 (2020): 217–241,

7. Bruce M. Anderson, “The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2020,” LinkedIn Talent Blog, LinkedIn, January 9, 2020,

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14. Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity, 142. 15. Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity, 139. 16. Pierluigi Serraino, The Creative Architect: Inside the great midcentury personality study (New York, NY: Monacelli Press, 2016), 29.

Review of Psychology 61, no. 1 (2010): 569–98, https://doi. org/10.1146/annurev.psych.093008.100416.

6. Kate Whiting, “These Are the Top 10 Job Skills of Tomorrow—And How Long it Takes to Learn Them,” World Economic Forum, October 21, 2020, 10-work-skills-of-tomorrow-how-long-it-takes-to-learn-them/.

What is the place of such a balanced mind? As architects, how can the spaces we design help others to express themselves and engage with the world? Breaking down the creative process into distinct types and phases, and studying how design affects these processes, and for whom, is critical to fully understand the effect of design on creativity and produce evidence-based strategies. n Katie Gluckselig, design strategist, Hanna Negami, data strategist, and Rebecca Milne, director of Design Strategy, are members of Design Strategy at Perkins Eastman, a multidisciplinary team that applies research and design thinking to create and enrich meaningful, hu man-centered spaces across all the firm’s practice areas. Bob Condia, FAIA, is a Professor of Architecture at Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning and Design and partner at Condia+Ornelas Architects, Manhattan, Kansas.

11. Katja Thoring, Pieter Desmet, and Petra Badke-Schaub, “Creative Environments for Design Education and Practice: A Typology of Creative Spaces,” Design Studies 56, (2018): 54–83, https://doi. org/10.1016/j.destud.2018.02.001; Donatella De Paoli, Erika Sauer, and Arja Ropo, “The Spatial Context of Organizations: A Critique of ‘Creative Workspaces,’” Journal of Management & Organization 25, no. 2 (2019): 331–52, doi:10.1017/jmo.2017.46.

3. James C. Kaufman and Ronald A. Beghetto, “Beyond Big and Little: The Four C Model of Creativity,” Review of General Psychology 13, no. 1 (2009): 1–12,

4. Graham Wallas, The Art of Thought (London: J. Cape, 1926), 79–107.

8. Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity, 145-146. 9. Anna Steidle and Lioba Werth, “Freedom from Constraints: Darkness and Dim Illumination Promote Creativity,” Journal of Environmental Psychology 35, (2013): 67–80, https://doi. org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.05.003. 10. Canan Ceylan, Jan Dul, and Serpil Aytac, “Can the Office Environment Stimulate a Manager’s Creativity?” Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing 18, no. 6 (2008): 589–602, https://

If we replicate our findings with a bigger, more diverse sam ple, what would that mean for office design? What aspects of “hominess” should we bring into work environments? Csikszent mihalyi suggests that modest, less stimulating environments are best for the preparation or research phase of creativity.15 Yet many open-concept offices are rife with visual and auditory distractions, where the capacity for deep focus without distraction is hindered.

12. Bob Condia, Hanna Negami, Katherine Gluckselig, and Rebecca Milne, “The Effect of Spatial Ambiguity on Creative Thinking,” Journal of Science-Informed Design, (2021), article/106/the-effect-of-spatial-ambiguity-on-creative-thinking/.

5. Daniela Villani and Alessandro Antonietti. “Measurement of Creativity,” in Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ed. Elias G. Carayannis (New York, NY: Springer, 2013), 1234–38,

Professional Spotlight What does our research mean for the profession of architecture? A study of creativity in architects argues that they effectively balance an “inner drive to self-expression with the motivation to externalize and engage with the world, constraints and all.”16

Citations 1. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997), 28. 2. Beth A. Hennessey and Teresa M. Amabile, “Creativity,” Annual 4




As noted earlier, hospital systems often control considerable property. And it’s increasingly accepted that open space and nature is therapeutic for people. What if we thought about these expansive sites as having the potential to be places of “rejuvenation and restoration” the way the Romans did. We could design our cam puses to serve as something akin to the “pleasure gardens” of ancient Rome.

At the Jefferson Center City hospital campus, we undertook plans many years ago for a two (2) phase development to replace a 1980’s two story garage. Phase 1 was completed and phase 2 was never built. The unintended benefit of the second build ing never being constructed was that we were left with ample space to provide a new campus park. The park is passive and accommodates people of all ages. The park is a “canvas” to allow people to engage with us and have a positive experience. We hear often from students, staff and neighbors that this is a place of “respite” for them.

It’s been documented that the pandemic has stressed social and emotional and even political discourse in America. Hospitals are in a unique position to provide a reparative and healing process for patients that begins before someone even enters through the front doors.

During its prime, the city of Rome was home to a number of well-maintained and lavish public gardens. Many of the gardens were originally reserved as places of re spite for the ruling class or even the emperor. Over time, Roman leaders recognized the importance of providing amenities to the public to win their favor and ultimately maintain control. In a more altruistic sense, the gardens were also places for necessary exercise and included walking paths and trails marked with distances. They allowed citizens who were normally subject to the dense and un-sanitary conditions of an urban center to retreat into nature for refreshment and rejuvenation.


The hospital is a truly unique workplace. It’s a twenty-four-hour city that includes a mix of more types of uses than you will find in any other building. The hospital needs to be able to stand on its own, with redundancies for every major mechanical and life support system. Even small, private hospital systems are often regarded by their communities as major civic and public institutions. And hospitals often come with campuses or major land holdings that put them in position to influence how a community develops and changes over time. Most unique is that, arguably, the hospital is the one type of building that HAD to function during the pandemic JUST as it had functioned before. That is, hospitals should already have been designed to adjust to and support what was needed to serve communities in times of crisis. We are learning more now about how hospitals responded to these challenges. And, while at the time of this writing we cannot say we are beyond the pandemic, we can start to think about some of the ways our hospital buildings need to adapt and change to serve communities and form a “workplace of the future” for our patients and essential staff.

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Pleasure gardens of Rome were open spaces offered to the public to provide them tranquility and relief (and hopefully solidify support for those governing). They were often the site of elaborate water features in addition to landscape. (The pictured fountain at left is from Villa D’Esta.) Below, Hamilton Park at Jefferson Center City Campus is a poplar amenity with neighbors, students, and staff

UNSPLASH/DIANAHORONCEANU AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 17 AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 17

An increased connection to natural lighting and nature is an important aspect of recharge for visitors and staff. Hospital employees and staff will also obviously benefit from these outdoor spaces as places for revival and refreshment. As a result of hybrid and remote work scenarios, many businesses are returning to office with a significant reduction in their daily popula tion. This trend is exactly the opposite in the medical field. Hospitals are going to require even more staff than in the past to get the job done. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics recently projected that medical fields would experience 16% job growth, a significant number more than any other professional field. With more people needed “in person” the role of open spaces as places for re-charge will take on even greater importance. And it’s not simply the site that needs to be considered, but the entire experience that begins with arrival on the property and leads to the front door.


At Jefferson, our new ambulatory care building under construc tion includes a first-floor plan that is almost 60% lobby, public space, open space and automobile drop-off. All this space gives us the op portunity to re-purpose and re-plan as needed. It gives us the ability to provide additional screening areas and space to manage physical distancing if needed. It also allows for us to expand our security pe rimeter as needed to control access if we need to. While not the case in our location, in buildings where flooding is possible, added open space at the lobby level can provide a “buffer zone” for storm surges.

The added space requirements to allow for all the above out lined issues don’t just stop with the public areas. Employees and

The pandemic dictated new space requirements at hospital entrances. The physical distancing requirements recommended to manage COVID meant that available space was quickly consumed. Many hospitals added temporary tents and portable buildings be yond the entrances and into the surrounding grounds to create needed extra space. Many hospitals just didn’t have enough interior space to offer as lobbies had just not been oversized enough or de signed to be that flexible or adaptable. In Washington State, the first hospital to receive COVID patients decided to have people wait in their cars for appointments because their lobby was so undersized. We should be thinking about hospital lobbies like the New Orleans airport. After high-profile flooding disasters that decimated hospitals in New Orleans and New York City, the organization of the hospital entrance sequence is being revisited. With new hospitals planning critical backup systems and programs to be housed above the first floor, we will, as a result, have more space to work with at the ground level than ever before.

In 2019, New Orleans opened a major renovation of the Louis Armstrong International Airport. Articles at the time focused on the open, light filled design by Caesar Pelli. However, the feature mentioned in almost every article was one of the most mundane — a large, central space for TSA to expand and contract their secu rity operations as needed, with up to 17 lanes of service as needed. Of course, this was design thinking born of the post 9-11 space planning needs. Hospitals can learn from this.

We might look for ways to better connect our employee’s homes and communities in a symbiotic way to their workplace. To consid er mixed-use planning models that allow healthcare workers to live closer to where they work, reduce commuting times, and incorporate other amenities they need to live a more balanced life. A few hospital systems have already begun to make changes in this direction.

The hospital is a vital workplace that had to adapt during COVID and will have to adapt again to future challenges that are unclear. We need to be planning that spatial flexibility into our buildings right now. Our society has been strained by the pandemic, social unrest, and negative political discourse. However, people and communities are resilient and while it may seem difficult in the moment, we will recover from these challenges to meet the challenges to come.

Lutheran Medical Center making a $650 million move just a few miles west in Wheat Ridge, opening up prime land for redevelopment. The Colorado Sun.


SCL Health Lutheran new-lutheran-medical-center/legacy-campus/).(


The vast number of vacant retail “boxes” present many options to a hospital system looking to expand. Additionally, shopping mall owners (and more importantly their lenders) have come to view the institutional user as a more viable tenant than their retail counter parts of the past. As a result, many hospital systems have pursued a strategy of growth through suburban expansion. On one hand, this is simply about delivering the services to where people live. On the other hand, it’s a basic reaction to the realities of the suburban real estate market. So these new “infill” suburban clinics take advantage of available space and pair with existing community-serving retail. A different approach is emerging on the northeast outskirts of Denver. A new $650 million hospital building for SCL Health is rising from the ground and is scheduled to open in 2024. The new facility will have approximately 350 beds and operate as a level two trauma center. Surrounding the 26-acre hospital campus is nearly 90 acres of related development. This includes a convenience store and gas station, 310-unit luxury apartment community and a retail and restaurant destination with a central public space. All of this is blended with other recreational and open space. In this devel opment the hospital is the central user, the “anchor” tenant. They are the catalyst for the other uses and activities and the user that makes the project financially viable. But there is an even more important reason than economics for the hospital to be the “anchor” user. At the recent American Society of Healthcare Engineering’s (ASHE) Planning & Design conference, several sessions touched on the concept of the hospital as “com munity-wide” resource – a place of safety, shelter, and security. The sessions pointed out that this concept is consistent with a common view of the hospital by the public as a place of refuge and recovery. Hospitals should be thinking not only about how we can bring services to communities but how we can bring the services com munities want to our existing hospital campuses. A “mixed use” approach to hospital planning can best accom modate our patients, their families, and our critical staff. Beyond just well-designed open spaces outlined earlier in this article, we should be considering the addition of retail and housing that has a relation ship to our services. Even community centers and recreation would be suitable partners and could provide fitness space and meeting rooms that could give hospitals added space to support rehab and physical therapy programs. Many hospital systems are adding re search and life sciences buildings to the mix. And one of the most obvious additions would be senior living; seniors with housing situ ated proximate to the hospital campus have easy access to services.


Hospital campuses are uniquely positioned to help our communities rebuild. In fact, we should recognize our responsibility as providers of care to rebuild. Since hospitals are viewed as places of refuge by their communities, they are uniquely positioned to provide this type of service. And it goes beyond conventional health care. We can provide spaces to help rebuild social connections, spaces that our neighbors and patients can enjoy and areas for a staff to refresh and recharge. These should be places that encourage civic dia logue and connections. A hospital campus should be a place of emotional health and well-being.

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 19 staff are going to require more significant amenity spaces. Fitness centers, lounges, and doctors’ quarters are all going to need to expand and be upgraded post-pandemic. Hospitals need to ensure that critical workers can “distance” themselves from the intensity of their professional activities, so the spaces we design will need to take an even further step away from the aesthetics of clinical environments. These should be considered as places of isolated retreat and reflection where the physical connection to the hospital is minimized or entirely hidden. We have been asking our essential workers to carry a heavy bur den. That of balancing all of the personal and family emotions and intensity while providing that same type of care and compassion to the people that they care for.

Throughout the 1990’s, department store anchored retail and shopping centers sprouted at the edges of cities across the coun try. Each generally required several “anchor” tenants whose brand strength lured shoppers and attracted smaller retail tenants and whose financial viability and creditworthiness made them attrac tive to the developer and their lenders. How times change…

Importantly, hospital missions are already aligned with these goals and ideals. To advance this type of planning, we need to align fund ing priorities and capital plans with this thinking. This will be the big challenge as many hospitals have a deep backlog of costly deferred maintenance. In the long run, incorporating ideas like these into our hospitals will ensure they remain as modern, essential, secure, and safe institutions in our communities. n

Tony Bracali is the Senior Director of Planning, Design and Construction at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital. Prior to joining Jefferson, he was the Vice President of Design and Director of Architecture at The Goldenberg Group. He lives in West Philadelphia with his family and is a proud Philadelphian.

Sources: Marsano, Annalisa (2020, May 20) Walking, talking and show ing off – a history of Roman gardens. The University of Reading. June39d587a4-2e38-5c0d-94ac-60c94cc64b50.html).derings.MSYhistory-of-roman-gardens/),Missy(2019,Mar29)Asleeknewterminal‘reflects’next-centuryNewOrleans,architectsays;seeren(,Micheal(2021,1)

Figure 3 20 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia


(a) MERV 13 Filter Panel (b) Box Fan Cardboard Support (a) Schematic showing the composition and assembly procedure of the box fan air cleaner designed by Ford. (b) Photo of the box fan air cleaner. Flowrate: 0.2 m3/s

Since before the start of the Pandemic many people were concerned about the credit in the USGBC LEED Rating Systems, IEQ is central to green building design and healthy workplaces. As we learned more about how Covid-19 works by transmitting the virus through the air, from one person to another, we learned to wear face masks, avoid direct con tact with potentially contaminated surfaces (although those concerns have abated as we follow the science), wash our hands frequently, and seek more fresh air movement in our spaces. That last one is the hardest, especially during winter months. In this article we will discuss these issues, methods that can be used to improve indoor air, and a look to the future as we help make life inside healthier by design and Schoolroomsengineering.havebeen studied using computerized 3D analysis of air movement. Various techniques for opening windows and adding fans were evaluated. Worst case scenarios happen in which one student that is sick with the virus, sitting in the classroom, and spreading particles in the air as he/she breathes. Is it best to locate that student in the back, or the front? Is it best to place an exhaust fan in the window opening, or an intake fan? Should the fan be set high in the room or low? Should it run at high speed or low speed? These studies are explained and illustrated in an interactive New York Times article by JB&B Engineers. (See Figure 1 from cost.additionalthenexttheonlyappearsandtivenesstheshownfilters”applicableposedty-ventilation.html)com/interactive/2021/02/26/science/reopen-schools-safewww.nytimes.Othermodestapproacheshavebeenresearched,proandusedinclassroomsandschoolroomsthatmaybeinothercommercialareas.Usingsimple“boxairthatutilizeaboxfanwithaddedMERV13filtersistobesomewhateffectiveforcleaningpathogensfromair.Thefluiddynamicsinthiscasestudyshowtheeffecofseverallocationsforairfilterswithasingleheatingcoolingunitventilatorshownagainstthewall.CaseA1tobethemosteffectivelocationforthefilterbutthatapplieswhentheteacher/speakermaybebroadcastingvirus.TheauthorssuggestthatCase2,placingtheairfiltertotheunitventilatorismostlikelytobeeffectivewhenbroadcastcanstartfromanyplaceintheroom.Providingboxfanfiltersfurtherhelptheprocessandaddlittle(

See Figures 2 and 3 from https://doi. org/10.1063/5.0050058 11 May 2021 and “Airborne trans mission of COVID-19 and mitigation using box fan air clean ers…; “Estimating COVID-19 exposure in a classroom setting…”

Figure 1 Figure 2



• Focus on removing bio-burden pre- or post-occupancy.

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In September 2021, ASHRAE issued its “Guidance for Re-opening Buildings” (See Figure 4 from ASHRAE) which includes new guidelines to:

• Evaluate outdoor air ventilation… • combine the effects of outdoor air, filtration, and air cleaners…

• “deliver non-infectious air to the breathing zone as efficiently as possible

• Flush space or building for a time to achieve three air changes of outdoor air…” Office workplaces have been in a process of trans formation over recent decades. As we may recall, in the past office floors were lined with private spaces along the window walls and open offices in the cen ter, often wrapped about the central core of eleva tors, bathrooms and support spaces. The offices were usually for higher ranked employees and the interior open spaces for general staff. In theory the perimeter offices could have operable windows, allowing those occupants to choose to open and close windows for “fresh air” from the outside. That option became rarer as office buildings have fixed glazing, no ac tual “windows”. The interior work areas had no option. The recent Comcast headquarters building uses a different configuration with the circulation core to one side, a large work area with access to the window walls on three sides, and private offices on the interior. This arrangement should allow more universal access to view, daylight and potentially to outside fresh air. (See floor plan See Figure 5, from man-foster)Generally for new office buildings, outside or fresh air had to be supplied by mechanical systems providing ventilation throughout the interior space with air pulled in from above, usually on the roof. These systems run ductwork, usually above a suspended acous tic ceiling, or in exposed ductwork hung from a floor structure. The source of the outside air must be carefully planned to avoid being close to exhaust systems on the roof, other wise the fresh air is not so fresh. The amount of air coming in usually balances with the amount of exhaust air that is ducted out of Figure 5 4

• and avoid systems that cause strong air currents…


SupplySupplySupply HandlerAir

Problems arise during very cold winter days and very hot and humid days when the ventilation system can be pulling in air that is uncomfortable to the occupants. The heating or cooling system needs to run at a higher rate and energy use in creases, efficiency drops, and utility costs rise. So, building managers might close off some outside air intakes or drastically reduce the volume of air brought in. The result was very little fresh air for the people in the spaces. Not a good solution. Enter the concept of Heat Recovery or En ergy Recovery Ventilation (ERV). Think of this as a heat exchange wheel or chamber where the interior air that is being exhausted from the space passed next to the outside air that is be ing pulled in. As they pass through the cham ber with a separating filter system, the outside (cold) air picks up a bit of the warmth of the interior exhaust air as it leaves the chamber. This is a surprisingly effective way to capture waste heat (or coolness in the summer) and pre-treat the fresh air coming into the people places. It also significantly reduces the amount of energy needed to heat (or cool) the fresh air, improves effi ciency and reduces utility costs. And using more outside air with a good number of air changes per hour inside the workspace may reduce the effect of contagious virus transmission, although not eliminate it completely. The Building Sciences Corporation published a key research document in 2013 showing various ways to improve ventilation within a whole-house context, recommending the HRV. (See Figure 6 from and Figure 7, from Info-611: Balanced Ventilation Systems (HRVs and ERVs) Building Science Corp, September 2013) This type of system is not used in all office buildings. It is not required by all building codes although it is becoming more common in new er structures. These systems do “add cost” to the mechanical work when first installed but the savings in energy occur indefinitely, com pared to using only direct outside air without an ERV. With these systems in operation the spaces are generally healthier for the tenants. Similar ERV type systems are being em ployed in residential construction. These were first demonstrated with Passive House Institute single-family houses in which a small ERV is run ning continuously to provide fresh air year-round inside the house. They are now being used in other types of housing at all scales. Generally,

BathBathFanFanHoodRangeKitchen Filter Damper ReturnReturn

the space, otherwise there is uncomfortable air pressure in the rooms. Seems like a good solution, right?

22 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia Figure 6 Figure 7 AirExhaustFromInside ExhaustAirToOutside InsideAirFreshTo AirFreshFromOutside

n Sherman Aronson AIA LEED BD+C is a Senior Associate at BLT Architects - A Perkins Eastman Studio, Co-Chair of BLTa Green Design Committee, Chair of BLTa Quality Assurance Team, amd member of AIA Philadelphia COTE.

we think of having the option to open windows for fresh air in any house, apartment or bedroom, but is that really the case? We rarely open a window in February, or in July, and if we do it is only briefly.

In 2020, MaGrann Associates issued a “Position Paper on Whole House Ventilation” with insights into how to achieve improved outdoor air ventilation, maintain good energy efficiency, and provide a healthier indoor environment. They note a “good” method is using exhaust-only ventilation with a bathroom fan that runs continuously, and a passive make-up air path, perhaps with a small duct from the outside wall, or using a “trickle vent” at the window. In Europe the “trickle vents” are more com mon as part of a window assembly and are required in some jurisdictions. These vents can be installed in the top or bottom of windows to allow very small amounts of outside air into the room. Coupled with a good exhaust fan, actual fresh air can be moved through the space without a major hit on the heating system. (See Figure 8, from Reynaers Ventalis) Their “better” approach is to use supply-only ventilation with a dedicated in-line fan, or balanced ventilation where the intake and exhaust both run at the same air volume. Their “best” method is using an ERV for the balanced ventilation by bringing in pre-conditioned outside air year-round, improving energy savings and preventing condensation in the exterior wall assembly.

Note: The writer is an Architect, not an Engineer or Scientist. The article is intended as a general review for other Architects to inspire concern for our interior human environments.

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 23 Figure 8

There are options for using smaller ERV units placed in each apartment, or for a small group of apartments, or even for portions of an office space. These units can have a direct, ducted connection to the outside wall with small louvers, to bring in outside air and treat it with exhaust air, at modest initial cost. If properly sized and running 24/7, they can provide a modest amount of air movement with fresh air, to reduce the contamination from the virus and provide comfort. It is also possible that running these sys tems would reduce the need to turn on the larger heating and cooling systems, if people feel comfortable enough and want to save operating costs. Running a small ERV for moving air within a space is much more efficient than running a large air handling unit or even a through wall air conditioner when cooling is not actually required for humanPerhapscomfort.aswe plan our lives around the idea of possible pandemics in the future, or just plan for improved interior space comfort, the use of energy recovery systems, better outside air ventilation, and coordinated efforts at efficiency will become more commonplace in our planning, design and construction, making our places better for our people. As we continue to learn from science and from our recent experiences with indoor and outdoor spaces, we can apply these lessons to our architecture.



I have spoken with many associates, clients, and partners at major law firms who have asserted that they have been just as

In case you didn’t realize, the commercial real estate market over the past 18-20 months has been less than stellar. Given the pandemic and subsequent work from home orders, the market, largely, ground to a halt.

The rent abatement/deferral negotiations in exchange for a lease extension that seemed to be the only deals that were getting done are now waning. Companies are feeling more comfortable asking workers to return to the office and reengage with their fel low workers, mentor younger associates and experience the energy of person-to-person interaction that was and does get lost with the work from home model.

OPINION productive given this work from home model. In fact, one client said they never skipped a beat and although they weren’t physical ly on site, business remained, and profitability were not hindered.

In my opinion and given my experience, nothing can replace the energy and vibrancy derived from being around others and inability to meet face to face with clients. I do think the hybrid model (what ever that means for each individual business) is something that will take hold for the foreseeable future, companies need a place for workers to call home. To that end, building owners are investing millions of dollars in their assets to create a different and updated atmosphere…newer, brighter and more welcoming building lob bies, large scale common amenity spaces, fitness areas, outdoor/ fresh air spaces and behind the scenes infrastructure improvements all focused on welcoming the worker back to the workplace and creating a place we want to leave home for including BNY Mellon, One Liberty Place, 1600 Market Street and 123 South Broad Street to name a few. Add to these, Lubert Adler’s purchase of the Bel levue complex will bring one of Philadelphia’s most recognizable addresses back to life with a mix of residential, office, fresh new retailers and food options, a total and complete overhaul of the Sporting Club and upgraded common areas and amenity spaces. With the investment and reinvestment by Dranoff Properties along with ASI Management, Post Brothers and Blatstein, the corridor between City Hall and Washington Avenue is blossoming.


24 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia THE PULSE ON THE

Deals that were in the works were put on hold, transactions im ploded while waiting for a signature and even “done” deals went poof and never materialized. There were submarkets and sectors that did do very well. Industrial market sales and subsequent leas ing due to “last mile” shipping needs and the warehousing of goods and materials because of supply chain issues eclipsed pre vious records. Today, there is more and more traffic on the roads and growing by the day. The mass transit concourses are seeing more foot traffic as ridership along the rails continues to increase and there are more people on the sidewalks. People are coming back to the office. While not at pre pandemic levels by any stretch, the workplace is coming back. That said, no one’s crystal ball has the clarity we would like in our business, but tenants are feeling more comfortable making longer term commitments. On a recent “Zoom” roundtable meeting that I participated in, a senior partner at a major accounting firm that handles lease and corporate audits confirmed transactions are being executed and there appears to be vibrancy in small to mid-size deal flow while there are much fewer “large” transactions in the pipeline. While the CBD’s overall vacancy rates dipped as of late 2021 by a point and a half, rental rates have held firm, and we are currently seeing that rate improve during the first quarter of 2022.

One of the sectors of the market that has remained robust is eds/meds/research…Lab Space. Although this began pre pandem ic, this sector never took a “hit”. The University City and Navy Yard submarkets have continued to see an explosion in growth to meet the demand. Even with Brandywine’s Schuylkill Yards development and the amount of space being developed that never really hit the market because it was leased before it was built, vacancy in this market is in the low single digits and space can’t come to market quick enough. FMC Tower is 100% leased with the help of Glaxo’s relocation from the Navy Yard which also forced Brandywine Real Estate Trust (owner of FMC and CIRA) to move back to Cira after & NOEL PERNAFREDERICK COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 25 only a couple of years at FMC, CIRA has been able to retain the vast majority of its tenant roster since the KOZ benefits expired and the majority of vacant blocks that do exist, have been earmarked for lab or R&D space. Sterling Bay and Harrison Street of Chicago and Botanic Properties of New York formed a partnership to pur chase 3801 Chestnut Street to develop 310,000 sf of ground-up lab space over 13 floors to take advantage of the demand and lack of supply. In addition, 4 projects alone are adding in excess of 1.5 million square feet of research and development space to this market including CHOP’s HUB for Clinical Collaboration, 3.0 University Place, One uCity Square and Drexel University’s Health Sciences Building will bring total current development in this sub market to over 10 million square feet. For this very reason, some CBD building owners have chosen to convert a portion of their large, contiguous vacant blocks to lab space and are investing the capital now, to make the needed infrastructure improvements nec essary to eliminate or at least minimize the upfront time it takes for construction, ie. The Curtis Center, One South Broad Street and 2323 Chestnut Street. The Navy Yard continues to grow, while not geographically, but within the 1200-acre campus adding to over 7 million square feet of either occupied or space in development. Glaxo’s relocation earlier this year from about 200,000 sf at 5 Crescent to 50,000 sf in University City is meant to accommodate a realignment of their physical office space needs due to a predominant work from home or hybrid model; their Navy Yard space is technically still leased through 2028. It is being marketed for sublease and on paper, doesn’t truly affect the perceived vacancy rate. Gattuso Develop ment Partners is developing a 130,000 sf life sciences facility and the recently announced partnership between Ensemble/Mosaic and Oxford Property Group to develop or redevelop an additional 3 million square feet of existing and new mixed use Life Science space continues to add to the density of this population. In fact, Mosaic recently broke ground on a 125,000 sf spec GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) manufacturing facility to accommodate the surge in this sector where existing facilities can’t seem to meet the increased demand. With hotels, office, retail, manufacturing and R&D, the Navy Yard has become a city within a city since Barth co Shipping and Urban Outfitters first put their flags in the ground in the mid 2000’s, which in reality, wasn’t that long ago.

Architectural firms are busy responding to RFPs at a pace that is necessitating the need for new hires, construction companies are as busy as ever and at times unable to respond to every bid request.

The San Francisco Bay Area based payment processing firm Block, (formerly known as Square) recently signed a lease for +/- 35,000 sf at 1100 Ludlow; bringing that East Market development project to 100% occupancy. Gopuff continues to be lurking in the 75100,000 sf range and The Inquirer has been rumored to have found a new home for their relocation from 8th and Market Street which will provide for a reduction in physical office space. A good chunk of the space that coworking companies have gobbled up over the past number of years has hit the market with additional blocks of sublease opportunities competing with direct vacancies, however, I understand that the co working giant Spaces/Regus is in the mar ket looking for other opportunities and Corporate Suites, another co working operator from New York that recently landed on a full 26,000 square foot floor at 123 South Broad Street may have plans for expansion in the not too distant future. Morgan Lewis’s move to 23rd and Market in 2023 will allow for the redevelopment of their current home at 1701 Market Street.

Couple all of this demand with supply chain issues…costs are in creasing at a pace that adds to a whole other aspect of deal ne gotiation. Landlords have no choice but to “up” the improvement dollars necessary to help offset tenant fit out costs and are increas ing the water level in the concession pool to entice new tenants.

The Philadelphia Commercial Real Estate Market remains a guessing game as companies continue determine how much physi cal space they will need moving forward. According to a prom inent Philadelphia City Council member, the one major factor effecting the City’s reboot to pre pandemic levels is crime. The increase in crime in the CBD has exploded and you can’t pick up the paper or turn on the TV without it smacking you in the face and it seems, no one is immune.

The City lost a major 150,000 sf company to the suburbs mid lease due largely to the increase in crime and employees, many who traveled from the suburbs to the City, feeling unsafe.

The good news is, given the number of new leases and lease ex tensions being executed, an improving retail scene, and some fresh blood to the market, the future is getting brighter. According to a recent article in the SIOR Report, service-oriented firms are leading the back to office parade while larger corporations are still holding back. Speaking with a very active retail broker about the Mid-Town Village (loosely, Broad to 10th Streets and Market to Locust) scene, almost every vacant space has already been spoken for and new ac tivity is just as brisk as ever. That said, the retailers, mom and pops, restaurants, food trucks and newsstands that rely on the foot traffic that comes with populated office buildings took an obvious, major blow because “we” weren’t physically here and relying on them for our day-to-day needs. Building management services were pulled back because daily occupancy rates were a fraction of what they were pre pandemic and some of those janitors, day porters, build ing engineers, etc. were either furloughed or given reduced hours. The City needs us to continue to come back to the office, spend money, patronize retailers and hopefully with warmer days around the corner, a great return will become a reality. n


26 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia Located in what was previously a warehouse storage space, this team-based workspace was transformed into a bright, welcoming place to engage a collaborative hybrid workforce.Tasked with addressing the needs of teams that have adopted agile organizational principles and methodolo gies, and a team-based work structure that thrives on fre quent collaboration, the space was specifically designed to support a less traditional work process. The space has no individual assigned work seats but is composed primar ily of team or scrum rooms. The rooms are assigned based on projects, where multi-disciplinary teams have access to state-of-the-art audio visual technology, wall surfaces for ideation, and personal storage. The rooms are supple mented by smaller enclosed huddle and privacy spaces scattered through the remainder of the space, expansive open collaboration areas for socialization and cross-polli

n PROJECT: Agile Team Workspace LOCATION: Philadelphia Area, PA CLIENT: Confidential PROJECT SIZE: 18,000 sf PROJECT TEAM: Ballinger (Architecture, Interiors, MEP Engineering, Structural Engineering) MEP Engineering (Structural Engineering) The Lighting Practice (Lighting Design) Shen Milsom & Wike (Acoustics and Vibration) AVI-SPL (Audiovisual) PHOTOGRAPHYMASONHALKIN

nation of ideas, and a cafe. By providing options for how and where to work, the design pointedly supports hybrid work, autonomy and neurodiversity. Team rooms were designed to allow for flexibility for both daily users and to accommodate frequent visitors. Providing flexible ancillary seating, writable surfaces and pin up spaces gives workers the ability to express them selves within the space. Creating opportunities for cus tomization and team branding fosters a sense of commu nity and ownership of the space. To balance the lack of windows in the former ware house, the design team selected vibrantly-colored furni ture and walls in addition to glass partitions to create an active, transparent and energetic workspace. Baffle ceiling systems highlight the high ceilings and the unique char acter of the former storage space, while carefully curated lighting creates a sense of brightness and airiness.


AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 27 DESIGN PROFILE

28 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia

Designed to provide affordable studio and office spaces for creatives within an historic structure, Kreate Hub Philly transformed the former Thomas Powers School — a 40,000 sf, stone-clad schoolhouse that had sat emp ty for 10 years — into a catalyst for neighbor hood rejuvenation. Built in 1899, the building served as a community school for over 100 years until it was decommissioned by the city. After two residential developers were unable KREATE HUB PHILLY LRK to figure out a workable project, given the inherent inefficiencies that come from wide school corridors with bearing walls on either side, Kreate Hub took control with the goal of converting it into a canvas for artists — a place where businesses and careers can be launched, inspiration can flourish, and a community can grow. The design prompt from Kreate Hub was relatively simple. With a target budget of $4550/sf in renovation costs (which was met), the goal was to honor the building’s character while introducing the required programmatic components and a modern mechanical sys tem. The Owner’s intention was to return the savings achieved through efficient design and construction to the artists as reduced rental fees. When Kreate Hub Philly opened in Au gust of 2020, pre-leasing had already proven successful, and by the following spring the building had reached 97% capacity. n Philadelphia PA 40,000



sf PROJECT TEAM: LRK HutecE&LP(Architecture)(CivilEngineering)Engineering(Mechanical Engineering)





Horizon House’s ‘people first’ headquarters in West Philadelphia expresses a holistic view of wellness for its 250 staff and thousands of pro gram participants. As co-developer and anchor tenant for the New Market West building, Hori zon House occupies three floors with homeless services, health clinics, administrative services, developmental services, behavioral health ther apies, a model apartment to prepare partici pants for independent living, and shared spac es for gathering and learning. The open and welcoming space reflects an open-door policy, wellness, collaboration, and safety. Relocation from the dark and densely oc cupied building they had been in for decades presented Horizon House with an opportunity to provide quality spaces for their staff that reflected the level of care they offer to margin alized communities. The result is bright, open, visually connected spaces with “daylight eq uity” for all staff and participants. A high-ef ficiency HVAC system provides constant fresh air replacement, which acquired even more significance during the pandemic. Additional ly, materials were selected to be not just dura ble and cost effective, but non-toxic and with low embodied-carbon. For Horizon House, a green building simply made sense for promot ing wellness, saving operating costs, and sig naling to staff and participants “you matter.” With a construction start in January 2020, the project was directly impacted by COVID-19 and was redesigned during construction to address the pandemic science of the moment. In addition to spacing workstations for social distancing, furniture and infrastructure were reimagined to support a hybrid work model which involves more hoteling space and fewer dedicated workstations. For Horizon House, coming out of the pandemic crisis phase was more than just getting back to work - it was about relocating to a new physical space that demonstrates gratitude and respect for agen cy staff and program participants. n

30 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia DESIGN PROFILE

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 31 PROJECT: Horizon House Headquarters LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA CLIENT: Horizon House PROJECT SIZE: 55,000 sf PROJECT TEAM: Re:Vision (Architecture) Kitchen & Associates (Systems Engineering, Furniture NorthstarCoordination)(Owner Representation) Columbus Property Management (Construction) ARCHITECTUREREVISIONBYDRAWINGPLANPEARSE;DONBYPHOTOGRAPHS

the space n SHEWARD PARTNERSHIP HEADQUARTERS The Partnership,ShewardLLC PHOTOGRAPHYWARGOMATTBYPHOTOGRAPHS PROJECT: Sheward Partnership Headquarters LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA CLIENT: The Sheward Partnership, LLC PROJECT SIZE: 9,150 sf PROJECT TEAM: The Sheward Partnership (Architectural Design, Interior Design, Sustainability Consultant) The Lighting Practice (Lighting Designer) Alderson Engineering (MEP Engineer & Commissioning Agent) Metropolitan Acoustics (Acoustical Engineer) Dale Corporation (Contractor)


• Indoor

32 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia DESIGN PROFILE

The Sheward Partnership designed their new 9,150 sf Philadelphia office space to showcase the highest level of sustainable architectural design. This project is pursuing LEED v4 ID+C: Commercial Interiors Platinum certification, WELL v2 Platinum certification, and Living Building Challenge Petal certifica tion. The space includes private offices, meeting rooms, a large conference room, a wellness room, workstations, a kitchen, and a multi-purpose space. The project scope also includes a basement garage to accommodate two EV charging spaces and six, wall-mounted vertical bike racks. A private shower room was added to encourage employees to bike and walk to work. Floor, wall, and ceiling materials were carefully considered for optimal acoustic performance. Tunable lighting was incorporated into a meeting room to demonstrate lighting options to clients and explore the impact of lighting on material selections. All wood is responsibly sourced and FSC-certified. In addition to two preserved moss walls, there are three living vegetated walls that provide each occupant with a view of plant life. Other features intended to increase the comfort of returning office workers include: Workstations spaced a minimum of 6’ apart Sanitation stations with hand sanitizer, masks, paper towels, and cleaning supplies Sensor-operated soap dispensers 13 filters on indoor VRF fan coil units and the main air handling unit air quality sensors that measure temperature, humidity, particulate matter, and VOCs throughout


34 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia The Sheward Partnership Headquarters Architect / Designer | The Sheward Partnership, LLC General Contractor | Dale Corporation Millwork | J.C. Snavely & Sons, Inc. Fabricator | Classic Rock Fabrication Our mission is clear, empower, elevate, and enrich the lives of our community at large: Co-Workers, suppliers, specifiers, and those building the spaces in which we all work, learn, play, and heal! We thrive on seeing our customers and their projects succeed and better the lives of others and are proud to be part of the network of faces behind so many great spaces. CHBRIGGS Together, We Create Where Life Happens | 800.355.1000

AIA Philadelphia | context | SUMMER 2022 35 Building on our founda�on of quality and integrity, Dale Corp. and Dale Construc�on was proud to work with The Sheward Partnership on the construc�on of their new state of the art headquarters. This project is pursuing LEED v4 ID+C for Commercial Interiors Pla�num cer�ca�on, WELL v2 Pla�num cer�ca�on, and Living Building Challenge Petal cer�ca�on. Congratula�ons to The Sheward Partnership. 215.886.6440 | MAINWWW.DALECORP.COM OFFICE: 70 Limekiln Pike | Glenside | PA 19038

36 SUMMER 2022 | context | AIA Philadelphia Civil Environmental Survey Landscape Architecture 219 Cuthbert Street, 5th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19106 T: 215.330.4113 E: Serving creatingothers,places where people thrive KA_2022_Context_ad_final_marks.indd 1 5/6/22 1:02 PM

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