2020 GFD 🏆 Awards

2nd Award: The Four Seasons Hotel, Comcast Technology Center by Foster + Partners

Located next to the existing Comcast Tower, the Comcast Technology Center rises 1,201 feet (341 meters) as the city’s tallest building. The tower is vertically stepped, with loft-like workspaces and state-of-the-art television studios for NBC and Telemundo, with a 12-story Four Seasons hotel above. Reflecting Philadelphia’s great civic tradition of public spaces, the base of the building is animated by creating connections across the site, along with a sheltered winter garden that foregrounds the main entrance. Greg Vernick’s restaurant, Fish, occupies the entire northern edge of the building on the ground floor, responding to the city’s active street culture.

2nd Award- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Firm | Foster + Partners
Architect/Designer | Foster + Partners
Category | Hospitality Built
Team | Mina Ayoughi, James Barnes, Joseph Bausano, Chad Bishop, Alex Bosch de Legorburu, Andy Bow, Grant Brooker, David Burton, Heidi Chi, Nigel Dancey, Spencer deGrey, Maria Filar, Norman Foster, Dave Freedman, Daniel Glaessi, Alfredo Gonzalez Pleguezuelo, William Gordon, Russell Hales, Dominik Hauser, Beau Johnson, Arjun Kaicker, Simone Lam, Insub Lee, Yuan Hsin Lo, Naveed Mughal, David Nelson, Andreas Peyerl, Pierpaolo Rapana, Katy Roach, Paola Nena Sakits, Eva Seo-Anderson, Dan Sibert, Paul Stanbridge, Zoe Stokes, Rosy Sturridge, Theodoros Themistocleous, Catherine Thiemann, Sarah Wai, Chris West, Emilio Oritz Zaforas
Country |United Kingdom
Photographer/Copyright | ©Nigel Young

©Nigel Young

The Four Seasons’ hotel drop-off is along the western edge of the building. Visitors and guests are greeted at the concierge on the ground level, with the animated sights and sounds of the street restaurant beyond. Visitors to the ballroom are directed to the mezzanine from the left of the entrance, from where a dramatic single flight of escalators lead all the way up to the ballroom on level 5, passing through the dynamic For Philadelphia digital artwork by Jenny Holzer that runs across the length of the podium ceiling.

The ground floor elevator lobby, located to the right of the main entrance, features exquisite displays by acclaimed floral designer Jeff Leatham. The glass express elevators rise up and out of the podium along the northern façade, revealing stunning views of the city, looking onto Logan Square and carrying guests and visitors up to the hotel reception on level 60.

On arrival guests are greeted by the first glimpses of the panoramic views, and the glowing onyx wall of the reception desk. Guests are then led through the axial flower-lined canyon towards the Jean-Georges restaurant, Sky High, which unfolds in a dramatic bar and lounge as guests descend a monument staircase flanked by two black stone ‘water-walls’.

The restaurant is a soaring triple-height space, fully glazed on three sides. The unique pyramidical mirrored ceiling that stretches across the length of entire floor infuses the space with dynamism, reflecting the bustling charm of the restaurant space, while multiplying the views of the skyline at eye level from every corner.

The building’s section resolves a complex spatial puzzle, with private dining areas located on level 59, which can be serviced by the restaurant above. The spa and fitness center are located on level 57. Stepping out into a double-height space from the elevators, guests walk along a brightly lit corridor on the northern edge of the building with gym, spa and other treatment rooms. The spa terminates in an infinity-edged swimming pool contained within a striking three-story-high glazed volume which overlooks the city below.

The hotel comprises nine floors of guest rooms below. The building’s circulation follows a defined pattern on every floorplate – an internal ‘street’ runs along the center from the elevators to the eastern edge, where the suites are located. Curved corners marking every room door give an impression of generosity of space, a language that continues in the interior layout of the rooms. Every room has full-height glazing, a 10-foot floor-to-ceiling clearance, walk-in wardrobes, a wall screen displaying digital art by Brian Eno, all complemented by a warm palette of materials and bronze tones. All the bespoke furniture used throughout the hotel – in the public areas as well as the rooms – was designed by the practice.