American Bible Society

Philadelphia, PA
Fire Protection
Project Type
96,000 SF

As one the nation’s most enduring non-profits, the American Bible Society decided to relocate their national headquarters from their 200 year presence in New York, to Philadelphia. The nonprofit will take residence on the 1st, 8th and 9th floors of 401 Market Street, a building located within the most historic square mile in America.

Bala provided a detailed facility conditions assessment, plus full mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection (MEP/FP) engineering services to the project. The space consisted of 81,000 square feet of private offices, conference rooms and a mixture of workstations and collaborative workspaces, catering kitchen, Library storage and Rare Scriptures Archive, which required specialty MEP/FP systems to maintain the archives environment.

Bala's structural group provided an engineering analysis for the records rooms and library located on the reinforced concrete levels of the building.  One of the main design elements incorporated into the space is a grand wooden staircase that has a symbolic tree of life looming over it, which also connects to “branches” that spread out along the ceiling.  Bala provided the unique structural design for the monumental stair, which required removal of the 9th floor level bay to open the space for the stair and plynth base.