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News > Context Spring 2023 > Design Profile: Iovance Biotherapeutics

Design Profile: Iovance Biotherapeutics

Ground Reconsidered
Renderings: Frank Garnier, Ground Reconsidered 
Renderings: Frank Garnier, Ground Reconsidered 

Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. in the Philadelphia Navy Yard is a LEED Gold biotechnology facility for the production of cancer immunotherapies. The forward-thinking building and site design relate to the innovation happening within the building and greater Navy Yard district. Early in the design process, the decision was made to celebrate stormwater management. To reach the building entry, one must travel across an elevated walkway over the lush bioretention basin, creating daily interaction with green stormwater infrastructure.  

The elevated walkway was created through creative adaptation of modular pre-cast concrete cistern units. The cisterns, designed to be buried below grade, were installed above grade. In profile, the arched structure of the modular units evokes a Roman viaduct. The viaduct is capped with concrete pavement with unique geometric scoring pattern that visually relate with building façade elements. Low rails provide edge protection along the elevated walkway as well as illumination that is concealed during the day and a dramatic wash of light at night.  

The north entry plaza uses a unique mix of bluestone quarried in northeastern Pennsylvania. Flanking the pavers is an artistic arrangement of crushed bluestone of varying sizes, made from by-product waste material, mixed with linear bands of cut bluestone. Retaining the slightly elevated entry plaza are blackened stainless steel retaining walls with integrated lighting. The blackening process results in a living finish that will patina over time. Similar to the north entry plaza, the perimeter of the building is mulched with the crushed bluestone by-product waste material, creating a distinctive look in contrast to surrounding landscapes that use conventional hardwood mulch.  

Project: Iovance Biotherapeutics   

Location: Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA    

Client: Gattuso Development Partners 

Project Size: 6 acres 

Project Team: 

Ground Reconsidered (Landscape Architect) 
DIGSAU (Architect)  
Pennoni (Civil Engineer)  
Environetics (Structural Engineer)  
AKF (MEP Engineer)  
GeoStructures (Geotechnical Engineer)  
Re:Vision (LEED Consultant)  
db|HMS (Building Systems Commissioning)  
RWDI (Exterior Enclosure)  
The Lighting Practice (Lighting)  
Penntex Construction (General Contractor)  
Realty Landscaping Corp. (Landscape Contractor)  
The Edgewood (Masonry Contractor)  
Roma Concrete (Architectural Concrete Paving)  
Renderings: Frank Garnier, Ground Reconsidered 

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