AKA University City Announces Internationally-Renowned Design Partner Piero Lissoni; Ultra-Luxury Residences Opening Summer 2016

Philadelphia-based global luxury real estate brand partners with internationally renowned Italian architect and designer for Philadelphia's first vertical neighborhood

Jan 19, 2016, 10:39 ET from AKA

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AKA, the innovative global brand of luxury serviced residences, today announced its partnership with internationally renowned Italian architect and designer Piero Lissoni. This dynamic collaboration comes as a part of Philadelphia's most anticipated new project, AKA University City located at 30th and Walnut.

Rising above the Philadelphia skyline, the residences at AKA University City lie at the heart of Cira Centre South—Brandywine Realty Trust's groundbreaking 830,000 square foot mixed-use building and Philadelphia's first vertical neighborhood. The upper 19 stories of the tower will feature brand new ultra-luxury residential offerings ranging from hotel suites to apartment residences along with Level 28, an entire floor dedicated to wellness, as well as lifestyle-enhancing amenities and services. Piero Lissoni Associati's interior design for AKA University City will seamlessly complement the building's architectural vision, imagined and executed by architectural firms Pelli Clarke Pelli and BLTa.

"Piero Lissoni is undoubtedly the ideal design partner for this world-class project. Lissoni's distinct minimalistic approach and mastery of proportion is harmonious with the AKA brand's architecture and design philosophy that translates throughout all of our accommodations around the globe. Lissoni is celebrated around the world for never designing for a specific function or purpose, but for his ability to design for human beings," said Larry Korman, President of AKA.

In a forward-thinking approach to engaging different tastes and preferences, the furnished residences at AKA University City will maintain a unified style, though each residence will vary slightly – evoking different moods and emotion. With daily, weekly and monthly offerings – the variations allow AKA guests the opportunity for personalization and the experience to choose their own space that feels most like "home."  Variations will range from furniture pieces to the small but distinct details of the upholstery and fabrics. 

A streamlined sensibility of timeless elegance and sophistication is united by the finest materials in the world. The Lissoni team spent hours with Italy's leading furniture manufacturers to hand-select the highest-quality materials and textiles—from the distinct grains of wood to the fabrics in natural materials including wool, linen and cotton. Sculptural, intimate lighting from Italy's top manufacturers is a key component to Lissoni's distinctive design mood within each space.  

"We are honored to be selected as the design partner for such a special space in Philadelphia history. With AKA's unique model of offerings, the exciting challenge is to create an ambience that is homey enough for a person who is staying for a longer period, as opposed to a single day experience in a hotel room; and at the same time you have to create something that is interesting and different," said Nicoletta Canesi, Co-founder of Piero Lissoni Associati. "We're able to bring emotion into the residences by mixing different materials and styles with each space, inspired by AKA's world-traveler guests. The bedrock of the design is Italian, of course, but the décor elements are more global."

Located on floors 29 through 46, the residences at AKA University City boast expansive 10-foot ceilings and some of the city's highest and most striking panoramic views. The spacious studio, one- and two-bedroom, and Penthouse residences feature wide-plank Italian white oak flooring accompanied by open living and dining areas ideal for entertaining. Kitchens are clad in custom Italian cabinetry, with premium stainless steel appliances.

An entire club level for resident wellness, relaxation and enjoyment has been designed by Lissoni, which includes an indoor 72-foot aerial pool; AKA's signature amenity, a.lounge, which opens onto a.terrace, a four-season greenscaped oasis with endless sightlines and cozy fire pits soaring 400 feet above street level; a state-of-the-art Technogym fitness center;  private dining and conference areas; a.cinema, a private theater with fully automated leather seating, complete surround sound, an extensive film library and curated film screenings; advanced business center services; and a 3-D indoor golf simulator. Best-in-class amenities will also include a soon-to-be-announced nationally-acclaimed indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar, and Cira Green - the city's first elevated park.

AKA University City is expected to open summer 2016. For additional information on AKA University City, visit stayaka.com. To learn more about Brandywine Realty Trust, visit brandywinerealty.com.
 

ABOUT THE TEAM:

AKA, a division of Korman Communities, comprises a curated portfolio of luxury serviced residences in prestigious metropolitan locations including New York City, Philadelphia, Beverly Hills, Washington, D.C. and London. Designed for long stay comfort and value, AKA balances the style and hospitality of an intimate hotel with the space and comfort of a fully-appointed luxury condominium. To learn more, visit stayaka.com.

Korman Communities carries forward a name synonymous with integrity, market savvy and proven performance in the real estate development and investment arenas. Korman's reputation reflects four generations of dedication and business acumen, resulting in the construction of more than 30,000 single-family homes and 12,000 apartments and townhouses.

Piero Lissoni opened the Lissoni Associati studio together with Nicoletta Canesi in 1986 and since then the 75-person firm has been recognized as one of the world's leading architectural studios, renowned for refined Italian furniture design as well as striking hospitality projects across the globe.

Brandywine Realty Trust has set the standard for innovation in real estate over the past 20 years, creating new solutions and anticipating the future, evolving from initial ownership of four office buildings to now delivering and managing some of the nation's most remarkable properties. The Cira Centre South neighborhood is one such example—a visionary development offering an elevated tenant and resident experience while energizing its surrounding community.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects has designed many of the world's most recognizable buildings, including the World Financial Center in New York, the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, and the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong. Its award-winning portfolio includes retail and mixed-use projects, academic buildings, libraries, museums, research centers, res­idences and master plans. Pelli Clarke Pelli has been honored with critical acclaim and hundreds of design awards, including the American Institute of Architects' most prestigious honor for an architectural practice, the Firm Award.

Media Contact: 
Laura Krebs Miller 
Cashman & Associates
laura@cashmanandassociates.com 
215-627-1060 (o)/610-715-1096 (m)

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