Articles Tagged with: Fon S. Wang

Fon Wang on “What Minerva Built”

The podcast “What Minerva Built” explores the work of Philadelphia architect Minerva Parker Nichols, the first female in the country to practice architecture independently. Penn researcher and podcast host Molly Lester interviewed Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, about Minerva’s career and legacy.

Listen to the 9-episode limited series here.

H_151221_N8_ppt

Fon Wang on What Inspires Her

To celebrate National Historic Preservation Month, Philadelphia’s Preservation Alliance asked 31 historic preservation leaders to describe a building that inspires them. Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, wrote about her enduring affection for the Fleisher Art Memorial.

Link to article

Design that Inspires a “Wow”

Technical.ly Philly writer Nicole Forrester profiled Linode’s headquarters, located in Old City Philadelphia. Ballinger completed the award-winning adaptive reuse project in 2018.

Excerpted from Technical.ly Philly:
In the heart of Old City, walking into Linode’s headquarters inspires a “Wow.” With soaring ceilings, marble floors, and a modern LED chandelier to pull it all together, it’s clear the cloud hosting company aimed to make a statement.

Linode Headquarters

Linode is a unique player in the tech scene. The cloud hosting company has emerged as a popular alternative to AWS, competing not from Silicon Valley, but right here in Philly. Its key differentiator: a highly trained in-house support team, where customers can talk to a real person 24/7. It’s one of the few companies in the world that invests in support in this manner, and customers love it for it — to the tune of over $100 million in yearly revenue.

Such an impressive stat might inspire a design aesthetic of mahogany and leather, but for Linode, the aim was to create a space that reflected the ethos of the open source technology it’s built from. Restoring the old Corn Exchange Building was a costly and time consuming undertaking, but CEO Chris Aker felt like it was the right way to move into Philly, as he told Technical.ly in 2018.

“So much of what we do as a company is intangible,” he said. “It’s bits flying through wires. It’s electrons. It’s magnetic fields on spinning rust, or in our case, on SSDs. This is something tangible.”

Open floor plans allow employees to rotate their desks easily as project teams shift. Glass walls and doors promote transparency and let the light fill up the whole space. On the flip side, there’s a functioning library with a real sliding ladder on the third floor, and the bank vault in the basement is now a meeting room. This blend of old and new is the core of Linode’s style.

The building has and is surrounded by a rich history. For Linode’s employees, that means eating lunch next door in the Betsy Ross House courtyard, or walking past where Ben Franklin is buried on the way to work.

“The American Revolution and the [advancement] of democracy has connection to the mission Chris built this company on,” said Michelle Berg, people operations generalist, referring to the democratization of the internet and cloud services’ contribution to that. “That is a really inspiring part of the environment here.”

There’s also more recent history. Formerly Linode HQ was the “Real World MTV” house, and just this past summer while filming for “Queer Eye,” Karamo Brown visited the office.

LinodeLinode’s previous office couldn’t have been more different. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, the space had previously been residential houses, so the offices were made of many small rooms.

Berg’s first week at the company was during the move to the new HQ. She said employees were so excited about the new building, many showed up before it was ready, bringing their own chairs or perching wherever they felt comfortable. The new office wasn’t just an upgrade in space, but a shift to being a Philly company. Located right on N3rd Street, rebranded by the city in 2014, it’s the most evident symbol of the growing tech community.

As such, Linode HQ hosts numerous community events throughout the year. From meetups to weekend workshops to beer gardens in the parking lot, there’s a tremendous amount of energy within the Philly tech community that flows through events sponsored by Linode.

After about a year and half, Linode has already begun work on an expansion. It’s still largely under wraps, but what Berg can share is that “it’s indicative of the amazing growth that we’ve had over the last two years.”

Fon Wang to Speak on Historic Preservation and Sustainability

Ballinger Director of Historic Preservation Fon Wang, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C will be presenting tomorrow morning on Sustainability and Historic Preservation from 7:30-9:30 am at Diversified Lighting Associates, an event hosted by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. The Alliance is dedicated to protecting historic places in the Philadelphia region and building programs and opportunities that instill the values of historic preservation throughout the community.

The panel, to include colleagues from Marvin/Super Enterprise, Jefferson University School of Architecture, and the Navy Yard Planning & Development Division of PIDC, will focus on how historic preservation and sustainability are natural partners and how the effective practice of one leads to the other. These experts will also share the benefits, challenges and opportunities inherent to historic preservation and sustainable building practices.

Link to event registration

Linode Headquarters: Winner of the 2019 BD+C Reconstruction Award

Ballinger is pleased to announce that Linode Headquarters is a recipient of the 2019 BD+C Reconstruction Award. This award is given to the best historic preservation, reuse, renovation, and reconstruction projects nationwide. Winners were selected based on the overall design, engineering, and construction of the project.

Linode

Formally known as the Corn Exchange National Bank and Trust, Linode Headquarters is now home to an innovative and rapidly-growing tech company. Linode’s commitment to restoration drove the retention and rehabilitation of the building’s character-defining features, including the exteriors and double-story former banking hall. The interior spaces have been uncovered and restored to create a bright, transparent environment that respects the building’s history and authenticity. Moving forward, Linode Headquarters can serve as an example for future preservation and adaptive reuse projects.

The project was led by Ballinger Senior Principal, Keith C.H. Mock, AIA, and Director of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse, Fon Wang, AIA, LEED AP.

Ballinger’s Fon Wang to present at the Tyler School

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, will present “What’s New with the Old” at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Part of Tyler’s lecture series, the presentation will illustrate challenges and triumphs of recent adaptive reuse work in Philadelphia and projects that are changing the way we view preservation. The event will take place on September 18 at 4pm.

Link to details

Linode featured in Context Magazine

Linode Headquarters  was featured in the summer issue of Context, a quarterly magazine published by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The adaptive reuse project transformed a historic bank into a new headquarters for the growing cloud hosting company. Ballinger led the renovation of the 22,300 SF building, retaining character-defining features while promoting workplace collaboration through ubiquitous transparency and a variety of collaboration spaces. The ground floor banking hall was transformed into a contemporary hub for gatherings and special events.
Link to article

Linode Headquarters to receive Grand Jury Award from Preservation Alliance

Philadelphia’s Preservation Alliance will recognize Ballinger’s recent renovation of the Corn Exchange National Bank Building at the Annual Preservation Achievement Awards on June 5th. Linode Headquarters was selected for a Grand Jury Award.  The Old City landmark, known for its neoclassical style and history as a former MTV Real World house, was built for the Union Bank of Philadelphia in 1902 and now serves as workspace for the growing cloud-hosting company Linode. The building is listed in Philadelphia’s registrar of historic places and considered significant within the National Old City Historic District.

The mission of the Preservation Alliance is to promote appreciation and appropriate use of the Philadelphia’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes. The annual Preservation Achievement Awards honor outstanding contributions to the preservation of the region’s architectural and cultural heritage. Linode’s founder and CEO, Chris Aker, and Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, will accept the award at a ceremony at Philadelphia’s Vie.

Linode Headquarters featured in Preservation magazine

The spring issue of Preservation magazine includes a piece about Ballinger’s recent historic preservation and adaptive reuse project, Linode Headquarters.

The Philadelphia landmark, known for its neoclassical style and history as a former MTV Real World house, was built for the Union Bank of Philadelphia in 1902.

Linode, a growing cloud hosting company, chose the historic Philadelphia building as their new headquarters and selected Ballinger to renovate the 22,300 SF space.

The renovation resulted in an open, authentic, transparent workspace that supports Linode’s efforts to attract and retail talent. Ballinger successfully assisted Linode in the approval of Federal Historic Preservation Tax credits, allowing Linode to apply 20% of the renovation cost, including construction and soft costs, to their tax liability.

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, is quoted in the piece, reflecting on her passion for the project. “I love the idea of the building having a new life with a completely different group of people.” Published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the magazine celebrates historic places through in-depth features, personal essays, and vibrant photography.

Link to article

Fon Wang among the 20 Women Changing the Philadelphia Landscape

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, was recognized as one of ‘20 Women Changing the Philadelphia Landscape.’ The honor was presented by the Philadelphia chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), during their 20th annual fall luncheon.

Over the course of her career, Fon has led projects ranging from the restoration of a late 19th century station house to state-of-the-art academic facilities. She contributes to the preservation community with her work on the Philadelphia Historic Preservation Task Force and teaching in PennDesign’s Historic Preservation Program. She has been recognized widely for her commitment to her field: she received the Young Architect Award from AIA Philadelphia in 2015, was named to the 40 under 40 list by the Philadelphia Business Journal and 20 under 40 list by the CREW Network Foundation. Fon earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.

The luncheon was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and recognized leaders from Liberty Property Trust, the City of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Main Line Health and others. Net proceeds are distributed among the CREW Philadelphia Scholarship Fund, CREW Network Foundation and the ACE Mentor Program of Eastern PA.

Link to awards video

Ballinger revives historic landmark for Linode’s new Philadelphia offices

Ballinger recently completed the renovation of the Corn Exchange National Bank building for the growing cloud-hosting company Linode. The new headquarters is a mashup of Silicon Valley technology and historic Philadelphia architecture. Sited next to the Betsy Ross House and along N3rd Street, the city’s official tech corridor, the building offers the kind of workspace that appeals to tech workers: it’s open, authentic, transparent, and home to state-of-the-art computing.

The Old City landmark, known for its neoclassical style and history as a former MTV Real World house, was built for the Union Bank of Philadelphia in 1902. It is listed in Philadelphia’s register of historic places and considered significant within the National Old City Historic District, with a facade featuring colossal limestone columns and a granite stoop with wood, bronze, and glass sliding-pocket doors. Its urban location promises to jumpstart Linode’s ability to recruit and retain highly-qualified employees.

Ballinger Principal, Keith C.H. Mock, AIA, and Director of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse, Fon Wang, AIA, LEED AP, were tasked with rehabilitating the structure’s many striking original features while creating modern and functional offices for engineers, product development, sales, marketing, and customer support. Philadelphia specialists Materials Conservation Co. refurbished original wood lacquer, handmade plaster tiles and balustrade, hand-painting them to blend with the original. Masons uncovered brick walls and removed builder-grade floor tiles to showcase the original marble flooring. The team also rescued and rehabilitated the building’s 100-year-old wooden windows. Wang was energized by Linode’s commitment to restoring the building: “It was an honor working with an owner who fosters a true love for the building and its history. A lot of details that could have fallen to the wayside were saved and reinvigorated.”

The main bank room was designed to become a tech hub for social engagement. The underground bank vault, at one point the infamous Real World “confessional,” is now a break-out room, accessed through the original, restored metal vault door. Ballinger worked with state and city officials throughout the project to ensure that all work followed building regulations, and preservation and accessibility guidelines— a task that was challenged by the building’s age and landmark status. The result is a sophisticated design that highlights historic features and renders the building systems practically invisible.

Ballinger successfully assisted Linode in the approval of Federal Historic Preservation Tax credits, completing Parts I through III of the application and working with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PMHC) and the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The tax credit allows Linode to apply 20% of the renovation cost, including construction and soft costs, to their tax liability.

The building officially opened in June 2018 and has been well received by “Linodians.” Summarizing her passion for the project, Wang said, “One of the principles of historic preservation is continued use. My hope is that this adaptive reuse serves as a precedent to other buildings in need of a new life.”

Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits Approved

Following the design and construction of Linode’s new Philadelphia headquarters, Ballinger successfully assisted Linode in the approval of Federal Historic Preservation Tax credits for the rehabilitation of the Corn Exchange National Bank on the corner of 3rd and Arch Streets. Ballinger completed Parts I through III of the application, working with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PMHC) and the Philadelphia Historical Commission. The tax credit allows Linode to apply 20% of the renovation cost, including construction and soft costs, to their tax liability. Ballinger’s careful insertion of a contemporary tech headquarters within a neoclassical building complies with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.” To close out the month, we asked Ballinger staff members to share advice and their perspectives as women in architecture, engineering and interior design. We’ll be sharing more thoughts from the remarkable women of Ballinger throughout the year.

Ballinger’s Fon S. Wang Appointed to Mayor’s Task Force on Historic Preservation

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse, Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, was appointed to the Mayor’s Task Force on Historic Preservation. Philadelphia’s Historic Preservation Task Force was created in April 2017 to identify ways historic preservation can be a meaningful partner in the city’s growth. Philadelphia has the highest number of building parcels per square mile in the US but a lower than average number of historically designated buildings. Just 2.2% are locally designated as historic, compared to a 50-city average of 4.3%

As a member of the Task Force Subcommittee on Regulating Preservation Outcomes and a community representative for Chinatown, Fon will focus on review of regulations to facilitate growth while retaining what makes Philadelphia unique.

In addition to her roles as Director of Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse at Ballinger, Fon is a Board Member for the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, and a lecturer at PennDesign’s Historic Preservation Studio.

Ballinger Architects Lead Tour of Linode’s Future Headquarters

modToday Ballinger architects led a tour of Philadelphia’s historic Girard Corn Exchange building, the future headquarters of cloud hosting company Linode, for CREW Philadelphia (Commercial Real Estate Women) members. Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation, Fon Wang, AIA, LEED AP and Ballinger Associate Daniel Howard, AIA were accompanied by Linode founder and CEO, Christopher Aker, who introduced the tour by describing his attraction to the historic building and the draw of Philadelphia as a hub for tech talent.

In 2016 Ballinger was selected to renovate the three-story building, which was built in 1902 and was the Union Bank of Philadelphia and then the Girard Corn Exchange National Bank and Trust Company. Located next to the Betsy Ross House, the building is listed in the national and local register of historic places. It features colossal engaged limestone columns and a granite stoop with wood, bronze and glass sliding pocket doors.

DSC_9639During the tour, attendees visited the bank vault, “coupon rooms,” a boardroom, and a double-story banking hall, which will be retained and rehabilitated. As Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation and a life-long Philadelphian, Fon Wang expressed her passion for the project. “We’re honored to be working on a building with such rich architectural heritage. The benefits of adaptive reuse are cultural, ecological and economic. A high-tech company headquartered in a historic building is a unique union, with advantages for both Linode and Philadelphia.”

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation Fon S. Wang Wins AIA Philadelphia’s 2015 Young Architect Award

Ballinger’s Director of Historic Preservation Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP received the 2015 Young Architect Award at the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards Gala held on October 14th at the National Museum of American Jewish History. One of the highest honors presented by AIA Philadelphia, the Young Architect Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the architectural profession in the categories of leadership, practice and service.

Over the course of her 17-year career, Fon has led projects ranging from state-of-the-art academic facilities to the restoration of a late 19th century station house. Her practical knowledge in sensitive interventions to existing heritage structures, as well as new construction in a historic context, is attuned to the evolving requirements of today’s occupants. Her designs adhere to the guidelines of the preservation community and building codes while recognizing the importance of evolving environmental and cultural concerns. 

Fon is a Board Member for the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Co-chair of Community Outreach Committee for CREW Philadelphia and volunteers her professional design services for the Community Design Collaborative. 

Fon holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the inaugural recipient of the David De Long Fellowship. She is a lecturer at PennDesign’s Historic Preservation Studio.

Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, Joins Ballinger as Director of Historic Preservation

Ballinger is pleased to welcome Fon Wang to the architecture studio as Director of Historic Preservation.

Over the course of her 17 year career, Fon has led projects ranging from state-of-the-art academic facilities to the restoration of a late 19th century station house.  Her practical knowledge in sensitive interventions to existing structures, as well as new construction in a historic context, is attuned to the evolving requirements of today’s occupants.

Fon’s arrival at Ballinger provides the firm with stronger credentials to grow a historic preservation portfolio.

From 2005 to 2015, Fon was principal of UCI Architects providing architecture, planning and historic preservation services. At UCI, she worked closely with the Ballinger team on Philadelphia’s Public Safety Services Campus (PSSC) project, a major renovation of the former Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company complex to become the headquarters of the Philadelphia Police Department as well as home to the Medical Examiner’s Office and Department of Health Laboratory Services.  Now at Ballinger, she will continue to work on PSSC as well as other opportunities as they arise.

Fon was honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of the 40 under 40 local proven performers in their industries and communities. Her professional affiliations include: Board Member Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Design Services Committee Community Design Collaborative, Co-chair Community Outreach Committee CREW Philadelphia.

Fon holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and a Master of Science Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the inaugural recipient of the David De Long Fellowship. She is a lecturer at PennDesign’s Historic Preservation Studio.