Articles Tagged with: Linode

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.”

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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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.”