Conversion of the former Hess’s Department Store / Bulova Building into 150,000 sf catalytic development including ground floor retail, 100,000 sf of Class A office space and 15 luxury condominiums. LFA provided full architectural/interiors services for Base Building as well as tenant upfit spaces including the 38,000-sf new center-city home for Cargas and design/architect of record for new 40,000-sf spaces for LNP.
As with many established growing businesses relocation time is critical, requiring attentive and considered understanding to provide fast-track design services meeting the needs of the changing office-space culture.
This project in also saw the City of Lancaster invest millions into renovating the adjacent Lancaster Square and a new parking garage. 101NQ has transformed downtown Lancaster and thrives as the new city center.
2019 Commonwealth Award
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
2021 leadership Award
Lancaster County Planning Commission
Project Type: Commercial
101NQ Design Narrative
The original building at 101NQ was a product of Mid-20th Century urban renewal: A department store designed to attract suburban shoppers that had fled the cities during the turbulent 1960’s. As such, it ignored and isolated itself from its urban context by turning its back to the street. Its primary entrance was above street level, accessed from an adjacent parking garage. Its design flaws soon became apparent and the project ultimately failed, with the store closing its doors less than two years later. The building subsequently languished, functioning as a manufacturing facility before ultimately sitting vacant for nearly a decade.
The design brief was to transform the out-of-scale and out-of-context building and reintegrate it into the city’s urban core. The program was to include street level retail, which was missing for decades, and professional office space on the intermediate floors, with luxury residences on the top floor.
The first step was to carve away at the building’s windowless mass to make it more pedestrian friendly and to reduce the apparent scale of the 75 foot tall facades. Recessed arcades were created on both street facades. The entire first floor was opened up to the street and adjacent public plaza with full height glass storefronts. The upper floors were opened up with multiple window openings, scaled to relate to the rhythm and patterns of the adjacent historic neighborhood and to introduce much needed natural light.
The top floor was opened up further with full-bay curtain walls. Further, private roof decks were created for the top floor dwelling units by carving away at the roof and façade. This tri-partite treatment of the façade, expressive of the functions inside, succeeded in balancing the scale of the block-long facades with their smaller historic neighbors. The façade at the intersection of the two main commercial streets was opened up with a full height (75 feet) curtain wall and serves as a beacon when approaching the building from any direction.
Finally, exterior cladding materials were selected to integrate with the surrounding urban context, while acknowledging its place in the 21st century. The street level columns and walls were clad in large format porcelain tiles, a nod to the cut stone common in the surrounding buildings. The upper floors were clad in a rain screen comprised of aluminum-faced composite panels arranged in an ashlar pattern to reference the historic masonry in the downtown core. The building mass was further articulated by projecting bays on the two primary facades, clad in a contrasting color rain screen.
The interior design scheme varies from tenant to tenant but if there is an overriding theme it is a stripped down industrial aesthetic. Existing concrete slabs are polished and left bare. The existing steel structure is, for the most part, left exposed. Open office floor plans are the norm, with glazed interior partitions allowing natural light to enter deep into the interior. The large banks of windows provide unobstructed views of historic downtown Lancaster.