In the early 2000s, Urban Outfitters had 600 employees spread out over numerous buildings in downtown Philadelphia. This dispersion of the team was causing problems and the decision was made to consolidate in a campus at the abandoned Navy Yards. Urban Outfitters CEO, Richard Hayne, wanted a space that reflected his company’s designs and products as well as fit the needs of the employees for space and creativity. While the renovation cost $100 million, the buildings only cost $1 to buy and much of the materials were reused and reclaimed into the 330,000 sq ft newly renovated space.
The resulting look of the new campus is one that preserves the scars and reflects the history of the Navy and its construction and repair of naval vessels. Paint was left on walls, metal was sandblasted and left to rust, reclaimed wood was used to make new staircases and windows were removed, re-glazed, and reinstalled. Most of the offices and studios are open to the warehouse and light streams in from skylights and high windows on the multi-story warehouse buildings.