The product of a nearly decade-long effort, Crane Chinatown is a symbol of the trajectory of this hard-working and proud community.
A shining, contemporary residential tower will ascend from a ground-level Community Center that the Chinatown neighborhood can call its own, providing a much-needed, long-awaited home base, meeting place, and heart for the community.
We met with 30+ Chinatown residents, business owners, and other stakeholders over the course of six weeks to get an appropriate understanding of the culture, sensitivities, history, and heritage that was vital to creating a brand that would honor the Chinese culture but remain approachable to the non-Chinese prospective resident. With one eye towards history and heritage and another looking ahead towards progress and growth, we created an identity that both the Philadelphia and Chinese communities could call home.
We have probably used this project as an example of how we work more than any other in our portfolio — partially because we can’t actually believe that we pulled off the near-impossible trick of making EVERYONE happy: business owners and residents, lifelong Chinatown-ians and newcomers, community developers and real estate developers. Our secret is that we spent about as much time listening as we did talking to fully understand the varied and layered hopes, goals, and concerns that surrounded this potentially divisive project. The resulting brand positioned the building as a equal parts monument to Chinatown’s heritage and a symbol of its forward momentum.