Behind Foster + Partners design of the new Four Seasons Philadelphia

Four Seasons is set to open a hotel and spa in Philadelphia in the third quarter of this year. Set in the city’s tallest tower—the 60-story Comcast Technology Center—the new Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center will have 219 guestrooms taking up the 48th to 56th floors. Above the hotel, the 57th-floor spa will have seven treatment rooms and an indoor infinity pool.

The tower—a mixed-use building that also includes research and development spaces—was designed by architect Lord Norman Foster, and has a minimalist design. Foster + Partners won an international competition to design the building, which will be America’s tallest outside New York and Chicago.

The design, which aims to be LEED Platinum, will include a vertical series of “pocket parks” and social spaces. It will have loft-like workspaces and television studios for NBC at the base. The hotel lobby will be at the apex of the tower, along with a restaurant and bar with city views.

Design-wise, the core will be split, creating a visual axis through the building to Comcast Tower and a clear orientation spine. This central spine will be articulated at the top of the building as illuminated blades of glass, which will extend 126 feet above the tower to provide a marker on the skyline.

The tower’s facades will be animated by panoramic glass lifts and a series of 13 three-story sky gardens, which will rise up through the eastern elevation to draw a continuous strand of greenery through the building.

Four Seasons has other projects in the pipeline for 2018, including Twenty Grosvenor Square in London, the company’s first standalone residential property, as well as locations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Bengaluru, India; Desroches Island, Seychelles; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the Astir Palace in Greece.

Photo credit: Foster + Partners