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Ciocca Subaru of Philadelphia

Philadelphia PA

At 1400 South 33rd Street, there were two existing building, a two-story bakery, and a one-story warehouse with a billboard on the north-west corner of the site. In order to be an effective location for Ciocca Subaru, the one-story warehouse was demolished except for the area supporting the billboard. To adapt and reuse, the existing structural frame and concrete floor construction of the two-story bakery was salvaged and now houses the showroom and executive offices. The new building structure ties into this existing structural frame, as well as the existing billboard structure creating one cohesive building. The service drive aisle bisects the building on the first floor with the showroom to the south and the service area to the north. The billboard was not permitted to be removed and all existing site lines to the billboard had to be maintained. This helped shape the building design with the building footprint maximized on the first floor and set back on the upper floors. The design avoids disrupting the billboard and makes it feel like the building was always meant to be there.

One of the challenges when designing a car dealership on a compact urban site is to determine the best way to store the new car inventory. In the case of Ciocca Subaru in Philadelphia, the solution was to go up. A series of ramps were designed within the building to allow vehicles to move up and down between floors. The first two floors consist of service bays while the third floor, towering at over thirty feet tall inside, is designed to house (101) car stackers to store over (400) new vehicles. The third floor is largely clad in glass putting the new cars on display for everyone driving along I-76 immediately adjacent to the site. The vehicles on display, along with the branded materials, clearly identifies the building as Subaru inviting people to stop in and find their new car!

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