Boeing Production Facility Renovation

Renovating a vintage foundry provides key support for the construction and standardization of critical combat aircraft

As Boeing readied for the task of assembling and maintaining Osprey combat aircraft, it teamed with Gannett Fleming to bring new life to a 1920s-era steel mill near Philadelphia. The Future Factory design was inspired by the strength and versatility of the vintage foundry. The structure was transformed into an integrated space that allows maximum efficiency of Boeing’s process systems. Utilizing functional lessons learned from a neighboring sister structure, the Osprey manufacturing operations enable aircraft to move quickly through all assembly phases.

Gannett Fleming led the design of the three major parts of the project—the production area, paint booths, and an office mezzanine. The aesthetic quality of the renovation is a result of innovative engineering building systems that focus on the client’s mission to implement a modern production factory.

What We Did

The immense, horizontal, gray building is punctuated by two large blue elevator towers displaying vertical elements that contrast with the heavy industrial structure. A slightly tilted entrance canopy resonates with the Osprey theme of a tiltrotor aircraft. The high bay area exterior is accentuated by additional color variations, new large windows for natural light, and eyebrow windows with LED lighting. Lower-level windows provide outside views from employee break areas, while upper clerestory windows provide effective natural light into the factory.

The interior building systems address the physical constraints of the existing building, connecting every stage of operational efficiency with an enhanced assembly environment. The north mezzanine area houses executive suites and open offices for support staff. Lower-level support areas include a cafeteria, multipurpose conference rooms, and training labs. A central corridor glides past an Osprey history wall into the center of the factory, where clean lines outline the aircraft modernization activities on one side and fuselage production on the other. The riveted structure remains the same, but the finishes bring new life with brightly painted surfaces. All these elements give a cost-effective yet unique look to the new home for the program.

Key Features

  • Programming and planning to reinvent an old steel mill into a modern production facility, achieving specific client goals.
  • New energy-efficient systems provide comfort and safety for the production staff.
  • Elegant, industrial interior design for new open office and presentation spaces with a food service area provide efficient collaborative spaces to support the adjacent future factory.
  • Two new state-of-the-art paint booths large enough to fit an entire aircraft.
More Project Details
OUTCOMES

Construction of new fuselages and standardization of existing aircraft.

Production capabilities support client readiness and modernization program.

Efficient adaptive reuse of existing structure meets sustainability goals.