Blue Rock transformed parts of the original naval shipyard in Philadelphia into the new headquarters for Urban Outfitters Inc., by renovating eight historic buildings totaling 525,000 square feet.

This multi-phased corporate campus provides new design studios and office space for URBN’s distinctive retail brands while celebrating the idiosyncratic remnants of 125 years of shipbuilding. The design and construction embrace both the history of the Navy Yard and URBN’s modern culture by layering old and new.

Throughout the historic renovation, Blue Rock worked together with Power & Associates, a national consulting firm specializing in the preservation and rehabilitation of historic structures, to meet historical preservation standards.

Located at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, the Navy Yard served as a shipbuilding and repair facility from 1868 through 1996. Decommissioned, its 187 buildings were abandoned.

In 2004, the 1,000-acre National Historic District was master planned for redevelopment and evolution from public ownership to private use.

The URBN campus has been recognized by the Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence (National and Global) and earned the AIA National Honor Award for Architecture, Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award, and Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia Achievement Award, and Grand Jury Award.

“Urban Outfitters continually places their trust in Blue Rock, and Blue Rock responds by listening to our needs while paying attention to all the details and nuances reflected by Urban Outfitters,” said Dave Ziel, URBN Chief Development Officer. “Blue Rock goes the extra mile to ensure that the project represents the vision that Urban Outfitters conceptualized. It is in that spirit of teamwork and achievement that Blue Rock continues to be our builder of choice.”

A breakdown of the URBN historic renovation projects at the Philadelphia Navy Yard includes:

Building 543 Urban Outfitters Campus Commons: The centerpiece of the URBN campus, Building 543 is a former piper and coppersmith shop constructed in 1939. The facility has soaring 80-foot ceilings that give the building’s many public facilities a light and open feeling. READ MORE

Building 3 Free People Office: In 1874, the 65,000-square-foot building served as an iron plating shop and later as the old Philadelphia Cruise Terminal. Today, Building 3 includes the offices and photo studios for URBN’s Free People brand. READ MORE

Building 7 Urban Outfitters Office: The former Yard and Dock Commander’s Office dates to 1889. Originally, the two-story building was not structurally safe. A steel envelope was needed within the building to maintain the brick structure. READ MORE

Building 10 Anthropologie Office: Originally, the 62,000-square-foot building served as a machine shop in the Navy Yard starting in 1903. READ MORE

Building 12 URBN Offices: Built in 1905, the 52,000-square-foot building served as a ship fitter and joiner shop. Today, the building not only serves as shared office space for all URBN brands, but it’s also the reception area for all buildings. READ MORE

Building 14 Urban Outfitters Office: Blue Rock Construction converted a World War II torpedo shop into offices for Urban Outfitters’ IT and Transportation Departments. Originally, the building was constructed in 1904 as an open storage shed. READ MORE

Building 15 Free People Corporate Office: This 26,000-square-foot original shipyard fabrication building was constructed in 1903 and was renovated as the corporate headquarters for Free People. READ MORE

Building 18 Anthropologie Office: Built in 1908, the 110,000-square-foot building was a shipbuilding machine shop. URBN and Blue Rock Construction were honored by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia with its Grand Jury Award for the historic renovation of Building 18. READ MORE

Building 25 Free People Office:  Originally, the 55,000-square-foot building served as a plumbers’, sheet metal, and tool shop at the Navy Yard. READ MORE