Ballinger is one of the oldest continuously practicing architecture and engineering firms in the United States. Founded in Philadelphia in 1878, the history of the practice is intertwined with the history of the city. Ballinger first gained a reputation as an innovator in the 1920s with its design of a superspan, sawtooth roof. By allowing natural light to penetrate, the roof led to increased production and interior mobility at many industrial plants built during that era.
One of the firm’s significant clients at that time was the Budd Company. Ballinger was the architect of the Budd Red Lion manufacturing plant in North Philadelphia. A Philadelphia icon, the plant was the birthplace of the stainless steel train and steel-framed automobile body.
Decades later, Ballinger returned to the site to design corporate offices for the Temple University Health System. The space evokes the stability of the industrial revolution-era architecture but re-focuses attention to the future through the overlay of bold interior design. The adaptive reuse project includes a 4-story office building connected to a one-story employee gathering and collaboration space with conference center and cafeteria. A focus of the space planning effort was to create an open office environment with direct access to natural light by placing enclosed offices to one side of the building. The boardroom space takes advantage of additional rooftop clerestory monitors to maximize natural light.
Read more about the riveting history of the Budd Company here.