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News > Context Summer 2022 > Design Profile: Kreate Hub Philly

Design Profile: Kreate Hub Philly

LRK (Looney Ricks Kiss)
Photo credit: Kendon Photography
Photo credit: Kendon Photography

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 empty for 10 years — into a catalyst for neighborhood 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 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 $45-50/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 system. 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 August of 2020, pre-leasing had already proven successful, and by the following spring the building had reached 97% capacity.

Project: Kreate Hub Philly

Location: Philadelphia PA 

Client: Kreate Hub

Project Size: 40,000 sf

Project Team:
LRK (Architecture)

E&LP (Civil Engineering)

Hutec Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)

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