Independence Visitor Center

The Independence Visitor Center (IVC) renovation rethinks the building that serves as a gateway to Philadelphia’s rich historic attractions to a more informative and interactive experience for the on average 2.5 million guests that use the facility as their access point to Independence Mall tourist attractions. This project grew out of the IVC’s goal to increase awareness, expand access to the center through building an identity that clearly communicates purpose and mission. This intention became completely intrinsic in the goals of this quite significant building renovation. Ultimately
using the building as a brand asset through environmental graphic design and new exhibits. A multidisciplinary project team was assembled to consider the overall application of the brand across both digital and physical properties from a new website, signage, wayfinding to relocating services based on the optimum visitor’s journey. Accomplishing this as one cohesive vision was integral to achieving the measured success attained by the project.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


19,000 sf

Project Principal

David Searles

The new design improved general circulation, way-finding consistency and clarity, as well as the space plan and flow of key program elements throughout the building, including the information desks, restrooms, gift shop, theater and café. This resulted in an addition that allowed for a fifty percent larger gift shop and new terrace off the renovated café. The reconfiguration aided in developing new and improved revenue streams for the facility in order to insure continued support for its mission.


The building,originally LEED certified,was re-certified under the guidance of JacobsWyper’s team to be LEED Existing Building Operations and Maintenance certified.