Property’s Morning Obsession: The New Cheesecake Factory at 15th and Walnut

In her latest Changing Skyline column, Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, whose taste is fairly impeccable, calls the building coming to the 15th and Walnut “visually sublime,” “intellectually rich” and “sophisticated.” Best of all, she says the all-glass, three-story cube will be “one of the city’s finest new buildings.” Not exactly what comes to mind when you think “Cheesecake Factory.”

The building has been designed by Apple Store architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, which has deliberately given this building some weight to make it work within the context of the other buildings on the corner. “Most glass buildings are riffs on lightness,” Saffron writes, “but here the architects intentionally emphasize the thickness of the transparent skin by making deep cuts into the surface.” The firm’s most well-known Philadelphia projects are the Liberty Bell Center and the adaptive reuse LEED-certified renovation of the 30th Street Post Office. It was the recipient of the Good Design Is Good Business Lifetime Achievement Award this year.

The building has not been designed specifically for the Cheesecake Factory; the chain signed on after it was planned by Midwood Investment & Development. The Factory will occupy the second floor, with ground-floor retail to occupy the first (as well as other floors). Japanese apparel company UNIQLO will be one of the tenants. Whatever that turns out to be, the building itself will clearly be an architectural jewel.

Changing Skyline: New Cheesecake Factory at 15th and Walnut: A creamy-rich glass box

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  • kclo3

    Still too short. It’s zoned freaking CMX-5, but Midwood hasn’t built anything tall outside of New York.

  • scarlet

    LETS NOT DESTROY PHILADELPHIA CULTURE LIKE WE ARE ALLOWING IN NYC AND AROUND THE COUNTRY. PHILADELPHIA IS RICH IS CULTURE, HISTORY AND THE BIRTHPLACE OR OUR NATION… LET US NOT FORGET THAT BY CHANGING THE FABRIC AND LANDSCAPE OF THAT CITY AND THIS COUNTRY.. WE ARE TURNING INTO OTHER CITIES AROUND THE WORLD SUCH AS SINGAPORE AND DUBAI …. WHY???? DO WE NOT KNOW, ACCEPT OR CHERISH OUR OWN IDENTITY??

  • jim

    Sublime, Duh it’s a glass box