In recent days, decorative lighting was undergoing testing atop the W/Element Hotel at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City, as the dual-branded hotel readies for its grand opening in the coming months (Element Hotel in April and the W Hotel in May). Designed by Cope-Linder Architects and developed by Chestlen Development, the tower’s nighttime illumination will be particularly effective due to the tower’s prominent height of 617 feet and 52 stories, further enhanced by the dramatic design inspired by the ripples on the Schuylkill River. During Superbowl LII, the Lighting Practice, the building’s illumination designer, was inspired by multiple skyscrapers that were illuminated in green in honor of the Philadelphia Eagles and decided to switch from an all-white design to a multi-colored LED system.
The second-tallest building on Philly YIMBY’s Annual December Countdown is the W/Element Hotel, which is finishing construction at 1441 Chestnut Street in Center City, a block south of City Hall. The concrete-framed, dual branded hotel tower rises to a height of 617 feet and 52 floors making up the concrete structure of the building. Designed by Cope-Linder Architects and developed by Chestlen Development, the building’s design of jagged blue glass and the gray metal cladding was inspired by the Schuylkill River and the cliffs that run along it. The building has made a significant impact on the Center City skyline, as it joins the dominant group of 500-foot-plus towers in the Center City core.
The city of Philadelphia has been booming recently with skyscrapers and buildings of all shapes and sizes. While most of the new buildings have been proposed and built in Center City, the skyline is extending in all directions. The skyline made its first significant leap across the Schuylkill River back in 2005 with the 437-foot, 29-story Cira Centre; now, the area boasts three towers over 400 feet all within a few blocks of one another. The district may soon add a new supertall at the site of Schuylkill Yards, as seen on SHOP Architects renderings from 2016 (though the tower has been excluded from recent renderings).
Completion approaches at the dual-branded W/Element Hotel, a 582-foot tower at 1441 Chestnut Street designed by Cope-Linder Architects. The 773,500 square foot property was first scheduled to be opened back in spring 2018, but the opening date was significantly pushed back. The structure had started rising in August 2016 after setbacks with the foundation, but the tower had made a steady rise, popping into the skyline by the second quarter of 2018. With the concrete structure topped in August 2018 and steel topped with the W logo at the end of October, the jagged-faced tower is now largely finished.