One of Philadelphia’s most elegant and energy-efficient buildings will soon have a work of art that embodies both of those elements. Designed in 1974 by Mitchell / Giurgola, 1650 Arch is an Energy-Star-certified Modernist office building that is currently under renovation by Jones Lang LaSalle and the building owner, Dallas-based Behringer Harvard. A special feature of the new lobby will be a large sculpture of recycled objects contributed by Philadelphians. Last week, we erected an Art Box on the sidewalk in front of the building and invited the community to participate.
The response was inspiring. Area business people, construction workers, even a class of second-graders from a local school brought their broken toys, kitchen utensils, plastic hangers, phones, and old sunglasses and tossed them into the Art Box, hoping to be able to spy their contribution when the final sculpture is unveiled in late spring.
Judging by the other work of this environmental artist, the finished piece will be spectacular and riveting, and very much in alignment with the sustainable qualities of this Class A building. The renovated lobby area where the artwork will be installed will feature abundant natural light and terrazzo flooring, while other improvements include interior finishes of recycled materials, energy-efficient lighting on the exterior and interior, and HVAC and fire & safety systems upgraded to meet today’s green building standards.
The completion of renovations will coincide with the unveiling of the sculpture in late spring and will be an event not to be missed.