Urban Outfitters moves to the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard
Urban Outfitters’ headquarters, housed in five buildings in the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard, provides design studios and offices for the company’s distinctive retail brands while celebrating the idiosyncratic remnants of 125 years of shipbuilding.
Urban Outfitters, Inc. - which owns clothing and housewares brands Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, and Terrain - was the first major non-shipbuilding corporation to move to the decommissioned Yard. Previously scattered across downtown Philadelphia, the client wanted to develop a unified corporate campus.
Since moving, the company has posted record sales increases. According to founder Dick Hayne, that’s no coincidence. “Our company is based on creative talent and whatever we can do to attract creative talent puts us in a favorable position. So from that perspective, our headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard has exceeded my expectations. . .
We’ve had many talented people come through here on interviews who choose to work here, in large part because the buildings are spectacular. The campus has sparked recruitment and improved creative collaboration, which ultimately impacts our bottom line.”
The campus is successful because it mirrors Urban Outfitters’ brands. The designers embraced both the history of the Yard and company culture, blending the two into an incredible layering of old and new, purposefully leaving traces of the past to inform future generations.
As Inga Saffron, the architecture critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer explained, “[The architect’s] gritty mix of decay and history - accessorised with a few exquisite decorative flourishes - is exactly what the fashion retailer was seeking for its unified corporate campus. . .
Rarely has an architecture and landscape design so thoroughly embodied a company’s corporate identity and aesthetic sensibility.”
Urban Outfitters’ pioneering move has positively impacted the entire Navy Yard. A new creative district, with top advertising agencies, graphic designers, and photographers, is growing around the retailer. New coffee shops and restaurants serve workers and visitors alike. More than 4,000 jobs have been created in the Yard since the company moved.