Business software company SAP America’s new U.S. headquarters in Newtown Square, Pa., is also its first “green” building. ex;it was commissioned to create an “understated” wayfinding system for visitors and employees, including those who work on the campus and those visiting from other locations worldwide.
Once perched above steel mills and heavy industry, Pittsburgh’s South Side Slopes grew to become the proximate bedroom community for workers in the South Side Flats. In defiance of the challenging topography, buildings and parks were dotted about the wooded hillside. Connecting them, if gradients were too steep for streets, were stairs by the hundreds that served as public rights-of-way. Today the mills are long gone, and the Flats are better known for a hip urban mix of shops, galleries, and entertainment.
Philadelphia’s Main Street runs through the city’s Manayunk neighborhood, an industrial mill town reborn in the late 20th century as a vibrant strip of restaurants, bars, condos, and nightlife. Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates relocated its office to Manayunk at the dawn of this renaissance. One of the architecture firm’s contributions to the life and excitement of the street is through displays in the two huge storefront windows that span much of the building’s ground-floor façade.