Chester, PA
130,000 SF
Interior Design

Synygy, a 600-person software development company, relocated to The Chester Waterside Power Station, now known as The Wharf at Rivertown. The design team transformed the massive industrial-age structure into Synygy's new world headquarters. The award-winning project turns an abandoned century-old neoclassical power station into an environment where this technology-based company can set the benchmark for industry leadership, corporate responsibility and community involvement. Named the "Best Adaptive Reuse Project of the Year" by the international Design Association, Philadelphia City Center Chapter in 2006, the transformation of the aging power station has also been honored by the Philadelphia Preservation Alliance and received the 2006 Commonwealth Design Award from 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania.

The original power station was a monument to the production and marketing of electricity in the early 20th century, featuring advances in power generation and industrial construction. Accommodating today's technology first required the removal of much of the equipment from the past to enable a design that facilitates future growth. The old Turbine Hall, with its 100-foot vaulted ceiling, now houses two new freestanding structures, incorporating a data center, cafeteria and conference center. The roofs of these structures serve as a plaza, an open patio and a multi-functional theater/trade show area.

Overlooking Turbine Hall, in the historic Main Switch Room, is now an executive Briefing Center, to provide prospective clients a view to the company's data operations. Open office space, distinguished by unusually large floor plates, replaces an area previously occupied by boilers. The Coal Tower, where coal was once hoisted from barges then dropped into the tops of sifters and boilers, houses an employee fitness center and a residence for visiting executives.

This award-winning renovation and conversion of the existing Chester Waterside Power Station from an industrial relic to an international global headquarters puts this building at the innovative vanguard for adaptive re-use projects."

Copyright and photography – RMJM/Hillier Architecture.