Home » Saint-Gobain Will Bring Building Science Expertise to Philadelphia’s Reimagined LOVE Park
Saint-Gobain recently announced a partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy to provide sustainable building materials and building science expertise to support the much-anticipated redevelopment of the Welcome Center at JFK Plaza/LOVE Park. The recently released design reimagines JFK Plaza/LOVE Park as a true gateway to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and as a place with both active and passive spaces that allow visitors to experience Philadelphia in a special way.
Currently celebrating its 350th anniversary, Saint-Gobain is the oldest company in the Philadelphia region and felt qualified to help Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy in their mission to create a park that is distinctively Philadelphia. The partnership announcement comes during “Future Sensations,” Saint-Gobain’s futuristic global exhibition at The Oval on the northwest end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
“There is no mistaking the architectural influence Paris has had on Philadelphia, particularly the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which was modeled on Paris’ own Avenue des Champs-Élysées,” said Michael A. Nutter, mayor. “It seems only fitting that Saint-Gobain, a locally based company that was founded in 1665 to manufacture glass for the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, would help us reimagine the LOVE Park Welcome Center as a true gateway to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. A project of this scope and scale has inspired civically minded collaboration between the public and private sectors and is indicative of how important this redevelopment is to our city.”
Through Saint-Gobain’s partnership, the company is committed to collaborating with Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and the architects from Hargreaves and Associates and KieranTimberlake to help reimagine the iconic Welcome Center structure. The partnership will explore how Saint-Gobain can help create a memorable space that integrates environmentally sustainable strategies. The Welcome Center, a round midcentury building colloquially known as the “Saucer,” was recently at the center of a design debate that elicited thousands of comments from the public, but thanks to the architects’ balanced design, will be retained as a focal point at the site. The complete portfolio of materials from Saint-Gobain’s family of companies will be explored for possible application in the sustainably redesigned Welcome Center.
“We are encouraged by the excitement that our ‘Future Sensations’ exhibition has generated, but it is only a temporary feature on the Parkway,” said John Crowe, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain North America and its North American construction materials subsidiary, CertainTeed Corp. “Today, we promise a significant investment in the Parkway that will make a lasting impact and leave an enduring legacy for our hometown’s most iconic park. No matter how much our great city evolves, our parks remain, and they must. Parks are intermissions in our urban play, a chance to catch our breath and reflect. We believe the expertise of our renowned building scientists and world-class materials can help ensure that future generations have the same chance for reflection in LOVE Park.”
The Future Sensations exhibition is an immersive experience with five pavilions that take visitors on a sensory journey of science, storytelling and art that celebrates the past three-and-a-half centuries and offers glimpses into future innovations. The touring exhibition makes four stops across the globe, including Shanghai, China; São Paulo, Brazil; Paris, France; and Philadelphia—the only tour stop in North America and home of Saint-Gobain’s domestic headquarters.