Woodlands I, a two-story former pharmaceutical company office building, is burdened with deep floor plates and narrow windows severely limiting the availability of natural daylight to a large portion of the floor plate and making any multi-tenant occupancy scenario virtually impossible in its current state. Creative thinking and a declining cost basis for a vacant 200,000 sf big-box office building in suburban Philadelphia is enabling the repositioning of a “sleeping giant” that preserves the irreplaceable asset of a mature site and avoids the prospect of hundreds of tons of construction waste from ending up in a landfill.
Rejecting the traditional office block circulation diagram, the expanded Lobby replaces the traditional corridor and provides a centralized circulation radiating from an internal urban like setting. Utilizing this model every tenant has a physical connection to the central core regardless of their location within the building. Anchored by the cafe, a grand stair, and the elevator block, the space is further subdivided into a series of intimate gathering spaces through the addition of various island forms used to define smaller scale gathering spaces.
The re-purposing of Woodlands I seeks to define a methodology for repositioning these outdated structures by proposing a carefully balanced set of interventions that breath new life to the building while preserving the best assets of the site and maintaining a sensitivity towards the ecological impact of the structures. This project is targeting LEED Gold.
3201 Race Street Apartments is a 175,000 square foot mixed-use development in University City on Drexel University’s campus several blocks from 30th Street Station. The project is comprised of a 16-story mixed-use tower including a 180-person early learning childcare center on the lower two floors and 164 market rate apartments.
The apartments will provide 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units and will cater to the dynamic “Eds & Meds” market in University City. The development includes a community plaza/garden, underground parking and residential amenities including a fitness center, game room, library, communal gourmet kitchen and a rooftop deck with a gas fire pit, grill and seating with spectacular views to downtown. Completion is scheduled for Spring 2017.
Erdy McHenry Architecture’s design for The Global Innovation Center fronts League Island Park in the Philadelphia Navy Yard with a two-story loggia engaging the unique urban condition to provide a welcoming gateway for visitors and employees. The building will feature a west-facing façade that frames views of the Park while providing solar shading for the building’s interior. Just two blocks from Central Green, the building’s location allows employees to take advantage of The Navy Yard’s unique outdoor amenities essential in creating the campus-like setting.
The 175,000 square foot technology center and Research and Design facility will include office space, labs and a small batch manufacturing facility. Project construction is expected to be completed in September 2017.
Erdy McHenry Architecture’s design for Rowan University’s Holly Pointe Commons includes two interconnected wings joined by study bridges floating above the ground level. The building is organized along a gradual curve establishing a formal campus oval at the terminus to the existing pedestrian campus greenway. Anchoring the western end of the site, a new 550-seat dining facility overlooks historic Abbott’s Pond. The building will enhance the campus and community by providing 1400 beds, study areas, and laundry facilities.
The oval plan creates a new campus gateway to visitors approaching the University while enhancing student safety. Situated with a sensitivity towards the natural landscape, the new structure is surrounded by a rain garden serving as a visual/physical buffer and an environmentally sensitive approach to water management.
The multi-phased renovation of Meyerson Hall, seeks to revitalize the spaces used every day by Penn Design to welcome friends, colleagues and collaborators into the activities and spirit of the School of Design. The project consists of a Master Plan outlining a multi-phased renovation extended over several years along with a 12,000 sf addition.
Fundamentally, Meyerson Hall establishes itself as the ‘Center of Design’. In support of this approach, this Master Plan seeks to address the academic objectives by enhancing the quantity, quality and efficiency of the studio space, consolidating the research facilities, introducing designated critique space, and providing a place for informal academic discourse and interaction.
The proposal eliminates existing site barriers to establish an active connection along the busy 34th Street, creating a cohesive urban edge. New windows introduced into Meyerson Hall enhance this street edge experience by exposing the interior creative activity to the surrounding campus. The overall site plan strategy ties together Meyerson Hall and Frank Furness’ Fisher Fine Arts Library to enhance connections to the existing adjacent buildings addressing issues of accessibility, visibility, and pedestrian flow.
A new pronounced main entrance to the North, reorients Meyerson Hall and engages the campus edge to help reinforce the campus gateway at the corner of Walnut and 34th Street. Along with improving and enhancing the studio and academic spaces throughout the building, the master plan also proposes the enhancement of the overall user experience, by introducing a collaborative space known as the Commons, which includes a café to provide students, faculty, and visitors with a place to congregate and socialize. The space can be used for multiple functions including exhibitions, critiques, faculty staff meetings, special events, etc.
Phase 1 Implementation included the 2nd Floor renovations and upgrades, completed during the summer of 2013, including six studios on the east side and six on the west. In total, the studios were expanded to house 168 desks – 22 more than the previous configuration. The new studios were transformed to be more fluid, utilizing adjustable partitions between studios to accommodate different class sizes.
Phase 2 Implementation included the 3rd Floor renovation and upgrades, completed during the summer of 2014, which created six studios on the east side and six on the west. In addition to the studio renovation, this phase included the renovation of the school’s primary computer labs and IT offices, along with exterior site improvements; a new accessible entry and canopy on the north side of the building.
2015 – AIA Philadelphia Silver Award for Design Excellence – Unbuilt Project
Evo and Sky Green at Cira Centre South is a new off-campus residential Tower and one-acre park located in University City. The Tower extends the Cira skyline on the western bank of the Schuylkill River and represents a new housing option on a challenging site within walking distance to retail, residential, mass transportation and university facilities. EVO features attractively furnished units with bed-bath parity. It includes a broad array of high-end appointments including a roof top swimming pool, media lounge and a 24-hour fitness center.
The Tower is more than a place to sleep, eat and enjoy the wealth of amenities expected in a contemporary residential tower. This Tower is a critical component providing supportive, human-scaled residential communities. Smartly located “Public Squares” within the building are hubs of intellectual, social and recreational activity that stand at the center of a college experience, bringing together students, faculty, staff and the general public to form shared communities within the larger context of the nearby campuses and the City of Philadelphia.
Dubbed one of the tallest student apartment buildings in the United States, EVO sets new standards for student urban apartment living and along with its one-acre green roof as an added amenity, this project is in line to also establish new standards in sustainability and storm water management, targeting LEED Gold.
2015 – NCSEA Structural Engineering Award – Outstanding Project over $100 million
2015 – AIA Philadelphia Honor Award for a Built Project
Located in Montgomery, Alabama, this center is known for its years of courtroom accomplishments, legal victories against white supremacist groups, monitoring of hate activity across the country, national tolerance education, and the Civil Rights Memorial. The Center was founded in 1971 by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two southern lawyers who shared a commitment to racial equality.
The work of the Southern Poverty Law Center is essential to this country in achieving equality for all. The design for their new headquarters building strives to educate the visitor/participant about the issues surrounding the Civil Rights movement. However, this task cannot be achieved by architecture alone. It must be a combination of the physical environment and the efforts of the people within.
The design team is proud to be involved with such an organization.
The building design works to further the cause of Civil Rights through a variety of design issues. As an icon for the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the building will act as a reminder that abuses of civil rights still are many and widespread. In addition, the building is part of a larger site context that includes the Civil Rights Memorial and the church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. first began his sermons on equality.
The siting of the building takes advantage of these features by pushing back from the memorial to create a public plaza. This creates a precinct for the memorial and the new headquarters building. The building raises up from its concrete base to provide unobstructed views of Dr. King’s church from the memorial.
The interior layout of the building is designed to promote interaction. The building organizes into two components. The “support core” contains all support services and hard-wall spaces. The “office block” is a column-free, open office environment with its primary view oriented to the north. This open office block will foster a new era of interaction among the lawyers, whose work space has until now been isolated by hard-wall offices.
The open office area gets floor-to-ceiling glass facing north. By contrast, the south facade is more solid, giving only specific views of the memorial. The experience of seeing the memorial becomes a special event for the staff member who works in the building throughout the day.
Supporting the theme of interaction, the double-height library/work spaces create an opportunity for team interaction. They face to the south, giving them a specific and directed view of the Civil Rights Memorial. These spaces are also visible to the visitors of the memorial, creating a visual connection between the civil rights activist of the past and those currently working for the cause.
The new headquarters is a six-story, 62,000 square foot facility with underground parking for approximately 120 cars. The building consists of a concrete and steel structural frame, with stone and metal cladding.
2008 – AIA Montgomery, AL Chapter Honorable Mention
2004 – AIA Gulf States Region Honor Award
2001 – AIA Philadelphia Gold Medal
1998 – AIA Philadelphia Award of Recognition
This project became an integral part of the urban community of Northern Liberties in Philadelphia. Located on a three-acre portion on the south side of the former Schmidt’s Brewery, this complex comprises housing, retail, office space, public amenities and the conversion of two formerly vacant warehouses. At the center of the project is a public piazza, which is fronted by numerous shops, galleries and restaurants.
The apartment layout aspect of this project features a two-story loft arrangement. Similar to Le Corbusier’s unit housing section, access corridors alternate every third floor, which allow the units to have windows on each side of the building.
The design features thru-building openings that allow light to pass through the facade and soften the presence of the building from the street. These upper level “holes” also allow for elevated balconies and gardens.
At the corner of the development is a glass-clad, multi-story office building that creates a focal point for the neighborhood. Its minimal footprint provides vast amounts of open space for public use.
The project was developed by Tower Investments, Inc.
Across from the new Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City of Philadelphia (the largest convention center in the heart of any American city) stands the new, 540-car Convention Center Parking Facility containing 16,000 square feet of street level retail. Sheathed in a scrim of textile composite mesh fabric, this uniquely designed facility is the only one of its kind in Philadelphia to have such an array of sustainable features including green roofs, LED lighting and electric car charging stations.
The driving platforms of the parking facility are concealed behind a fascinating transparency, nearing a seamless blend, created by the recyclable woven mesh textile skin of the building. Functionally, the textile allows for constant air flow, provides UV protection and durability through tough weather conditions. Architecturally, the fabric screens the mass of the garage, giving it varying degrees of opacity depending on the time of day and ambient light.
The façade of the parking facility is pulled back on the upper floors to allow the extravagant detailing of the corner tower of the adjacent church to be viewed. A glass wall in the building lobby allows the church tower to complete itself, meeting the ground and providing users of the facility an elegant backdrop to the facility’s high-tech lobby. Where the parking decks recede along Arch Street, a one-story retail component slides out to meet the sidewalk, creating a more pedestrian-friendly scale.
A metal panel shroud caps the retail space, folding down and wrapping into the facility entry, directing traffic into the garage. Passersby will also take note of the green roof atop the one-story retail platform (green roof areas have also been provided on the top parking tier), reminding them that even parking facilities have the opportunity to be sustainable.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is devoted to preserving and interpreting the broad impact of railroad development on society. The Museum has one of the most significant collections of historic railroad artifacts. This collection includes over 100 locomotives and cars together with the priceless Pennsylvania Railroad Historical Collection.
The Museum uses the existing Rolling Stock Hall to display the locomotives and tender in a controlled environment. This aids the Museum in its aim to preserve the collection, but, the Museum needs additional interior space to house more of the collection. Currently, the Museum utilizes the yard to display additional pieces leaving these prone to continued environmental degradation. To satisfy the need to provide more additional interior space the Museum envisioned this Roundhouse project which will provide space for 6 more tracks for a total of 12 locomotives and cars.
The proposed Roundhouse will be located on the west side of the site partially encircling the Cressona Roundhouse 1927 turntable bridge which was relocated to this site in the 1970’s. The Roundhouse design is a contemporary interpretation of the building type used historically in railroad yards to service and store locomotives and cars. The design includes provisions for future expansion as well as repairs to the turntable bridge structure and the replacing of the turntable controls, drives and motors.
The design responds to complex site constraints and operating clearances for the tracks and turntables. This results in a spiraling westerly wall providing a spatially rich conclusion to expanding Roundhouse form. The project will include geothermal heat-exchange based HVAC systems.
The Lumen-Air House was designed in collaboration with Professor Tim Stenson for Upstate, an interdisciplinary center for design, research and real estate founded at the School of Architecture at Syracuse University. Upstate was seeking a sustainable and economical house that would breathe life back into Syracuse’s Near Westside neighborhood. Crucial to Upstate’s mission was the practicality, affordability and adaptability of the house. Per Upstate’s market research, the project would need to be a 1,100-1,500sf home containing four bedrooms that could be built for under $150,000, including fees and site work. The final product would need to represent an example of cutting-edge, sustainable practices, but shouldn’t leave the user feeling as though they were living in an architectural experiment.
The joys of Syracuse weather bring about the challenges of designing high performance, low energy housing in the surrounding area. In August, it is 82 degrees with a pleasant westerly breeze, but in February it’s 15 degrees with a rather unpleasant northwest wind. The challenge is not simply to design a house, but to design two houses in one – a multi-mode environmental device.
The Lumen-Air House is a machine for living – in specific relation to the weather. In the warmer months – May through mid-October – the house opens flower-like to filter sunlight and accept the free flow of fresh air. For the cold gray winter it buttons up. The interior living spaces are protected, insulated, by thermal buffer zones on the north and south faces. Though closed down, the interior of the house glows with diffused daylight through the multiple layers of greenhouse enclosure. In the shoulder seasons – early to mid-fall and mid-to-late spring – the open-closed aspect of the house adjusts to the changing weather. The result is a house that engages directly and intimately with the weather throughout the entire year.
The Lumen-Air House does not intend to camouflage into it surroundings. On the contrary, these types of houses will introduce a conspicuous and positive, yet critical compliment to the character of the Near Westside neighborhood. The houses are optimistic. They are outwardly asserting that architecture can efficiently respond to climate, and, through design-for-better performance, also provide shelter, comfort and environmental benefits. Benefits to the individual include the extensive vegetable planter located on the roof. It is capable of producing enough food in the summer months to feed a family of 5 and still have left over produce for friends, family and surrounding neighbors
Through its particular and striking form, we also intend our design to signal and to critically proclaim that buildings must effectively engage their environment. Though not shy, these houses also conform to and compliment the housing fabric of the neighborhood. They are volumetrically sympathetic with surrounding buildings, and thus can patch holes in this existing fabric.
Erdy McHenry Architecture, working with the Architect of Record, Holmes King Kallquist & Associates in Syracuse, NY designed a mixed-use housing for approximately 312 beds with a breakdown including studios, one bedroom units, and 2-bed / 2-bath and 4-bed / 4-bath suites.
The complex is composed of a total of five floors, four of which are residential floors. The ground floor includes a combined coffee shop and convenience store; a clubhouse with a fitness center, computer lab and business center and a Department of Public Safety office.
A portion of the facade on Henry Street is pulled westward to create a planted entry plaza, providing a visual separation in the block-long facade. Seating from the retail space on the south end of the plaza provides life to a long-dormant portion of Henry Street while an outside terrace on the western side of the main building lobby allows students a quieter setting for studies.
2013 – AIA Central NY – Citation for Design | Residential: Multi-Family Award
Erdy McHenry Architecture has been commissioned to create a Master Plan for the Teaching Dairy Barn (recently finished) and Large Animal Teaching Complex (LATC) for Cornell University. The master plan describes the vision, principles and essential features that will guide the near-term and long-range development of the proposed site, and will establish objectives for the physical and functional structure of the site.
The Teaching Dairy Barn and its associated out-buildings were the first structures to be completed within Phase I of the Master Plan implementation. The sleek and modern building currently houses approximately 80 cows, with the capacity to hold 60 more for milking and an additional 30 “dry” cows (cows in between lactations and preparing to start the next).
The facilities include overhead fans, stall areas equipped with soft bedding, and electric backscratchers designed for cows to brush up against.
The Milking Center is composed of two areas—a milking and holding area and a training/observation area. The sides of the milking area are open to the elements with operable curtains on the east and west walls to seal the building during the winter months. Overlooking the milking parlor is a classroom designed for the students to observe the parlor and nearby stalls. The viewing/classroom space overlooking the milking parlor has a glass wall on the parlor side and is accessible via either a ramp from the west side or stairs on the east side.
2013 – AIA Philadelphia – Gold Medal
2013 – AIA Central NY – Citation for Design
The Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) project started out of need for a parking lot and a bus stop on the site of the new Center of Excellence building, but the client wanted it to be more. The facility was to “tell a story” about sustainable design and inform the neighborhood of its work. They had a vision for the site to become an arts and cultural destination, to become a model of development for future urban books. A parking lot for 99 cars will be anchored by a large detention basin to mitigate the storm water run-off from within the site. Five parking spaces will be designated for hybrid vehicles and another five spaces will be equipped with car chargers for electric vehicle re-charging. A solar PV amature at the south edge of the parking lot will provide electricity to maintain the lighting and car charging stations. A small pavilion will become a shelter for bus passengers. The pavilion will have bike vending available for people to rent bikes, vending machines for a quick snack and lockers to store possessions. While waiting on a cold day, passengers can sit on a radiant bench, heated by the sun. A display wall will actively monitor the energy usage and production of the facility and allow workers to see work that is being done. It is intended to be “net zero”.
The ITC will incorporate several environmental features that will reduce energy consumption, mitigate storm water runoff and be a tangible example for other ecologically-minded urban projects in Syracuse.
The ITC project will collect site-generated storm water run-off in a shallow basin that will encourage evaporation as well as transpiration through its use of plantings. A controlled outflow will connects the basin to the city’s combined storm sewer system. As designed, this system will maintain storm water outflow at, or below allowable limits.
Solar Energy Collection is a major design feature of the ITC. Using either Photovoltaic (PV) and/or Solar Thermal Energy (STE) collection systems, the project is intended to generate all of its own energy – it is designed to be “net-zero”. This includes the required electric loads for the ITC equipment, as well as the LED parking lot lighting. The PV collection system will be tied to the sites electrical system, allowing the overall site to benefit from any excess power that is generated.
Solar power monitoring will be displayed to the general public, showing current usage as well as power being generated. The form of the collection structure will change seasonally in order to increase its efficiency. By adjusting orientation to changing sun angles, the adapting structure will visually demonstrate seasonal optimization.
In winter, part of the collected solar energy will be utilized to temper the environmental conditions for transit riders waiting for the bus. A heated bench and partial wind enclosure will provide a warmed micro -environment through the use of radiant technologies. Using energy collected through PV and/or STE collection systems, the Intermodal Transportation Center will provide a safe-haven from the cold winds and harsh temperatures of the Syracuse winter.
The Courtyard by Marriott is located in the heart of the Philadelphia Navy Yard in a prominent location visible from Interstate 95, directly south of Center City Philadelphia along Broad Street. The five-story, LEED certified Courtyard is a significant contributor in the continued revitalization of the Yard. Accounting for 100,000 square feet, this full service, 172-room hotel is an integral part of the continuing implementation of the Navy Yard Masterplan.
The ground floor houses an enhanced dining and bar/lounge facility, a fitness room and approximately 2,000 square feet of meeting space for use by hotel guests and corporations within the Navy Yard. Preliminary studies were conducted to guarantee the project would maintain the established facade curvature that faces the on-site park, while ensuring day-lighting and views for all of the guestrooms and primary spaces contained within the building. This client request was incorporated into the design for the Courtyard by Marriott, which utilizes curved glass to create both enticing views and the roof that will cover the Rouse Boulevard entrance within the Navy Yard.
The building lobby is accentuated by a continuous ribbon that wraps along the wall, floor and ceiling surfaces in order to direct guests through the space both visually and physically. Utilizing aluminum and wood as part of a material palette reminiscent of those used in ship-building, the ribbon greets arriving guests at the ceiling of the porte-cochère. It extends across the lobby ceiling before transitioning down as the backdrop to the reception area, then forming an apron upon which the kiosks sit. The ribbon continues onto the floor, which visually directs guests to the elevator before wrapping up the ceiling en route to the dining and lounge areas. It finally becomes the field on which sits the communal tables. The balance of the floor finishes are comprised of a custom carpet derived from patterning developed from the Marriott brand as well as a linear-patterned porcelain tile.
The exterior of the building at the guestrooms are clad in a Composite Metal Panel rainscreen system, giving the building an ever changing skin that depends upon the time of day and amount of sunlight. The exterior rainscreen creates a system to reduce the building’s overall heat gain by using a series of sub-girts and custom aluminum clips to prevent transfer of heat to the building sub-framing. The base of the building is comprised of a mix of aluminum storefront and porcelain wall tile that also extends up the vertical circulation towers.
The Pennsylvania Ballet’s Board of Trustees generated a strategic plan designed to heighten the organization’s national profile. The plan included establishing a school for classical ballet and expanding the organization’s presence in the community through outreach and education. Migrating to a new home on the Avenue of the Arts has become a key component in implementing this plan.
The new complex, along The Avenue of The Arts, will allow the Ballet’s multiple departments to exist under one roof. This facility will establish a tangible identity for the Pennsylvania Ballet on the city’s major arts corridor, cementing the Ballet as an important part of the region’s cultural landscape and a major presence on Broad Street.
Its new entrance will be set back from Broad Street and will be accessed by passing through a dynamic garden space. The garden space will have a series of landscaped benches where staff, dancers, and others involved with the Ballet can sit and relax. The space will be wrapped by a site wall giving a sense of privacy to the garden and creating a stronger street presence for the complex.
At the northwest corner of the site, the current White Building will be renovated for the Ballet’s executive departments and will feature a mix of open office space planning and closed offices for department heads. Each office floor will feature a shared conference room and shared filing space.
The Shed and Garage buildings are located at the east of the site. Both buildings will be renovated and used for rehearsal studios and related program. The renovations will maintain the character of the former buildings by exposing existing brick walls and re-using existing window openings. A new roof will be built over the shed that will allow daylight into the rehearsal studios.
Connecting the White Building and the Shed Garage Renovation is a new construction that contains a reception area, dancer locker rooms, and a 3500 sf rehearsal studio. The rehearsal studio’s size allows the Ballet to replicate the stage of The Academy of Music in preparation for performances. The rehearsal studio features a glazed wall where people can observe dancers in rehearsal. A large skylight in the reception area floods the area with daylight.
The renovated shed building and Studio Building will feature a green roof system that will aid in controlling the temperature of the spaces, as well as provide an attractive roofscape to surrounding buildings.
The Radian is a 500-bed, residential and retail center at the edge of the University of Pennsylvania’s rapidly expanding campus. The project was developed by a private developer in collaboration with the university, which owns the land. The design integrates ground-level retail, residential services, and open space into a hybrid building that not only serves its residents and the university population, but the West Philadelphia community as well.
Ground-level retail pushes back from the street to open a public space for informal gathering. The residential entrance exists along this axis and public activity extends up and under the residential tower via a grand stair. This open court aligns with an adjacent quad on the south side of Walnut Street connecting with Locust Walk. Outdoor dining options are provided at the upper terrace level and allow for glimpses onto the street.
The building skin is a pre-fabricated rainscreen wall panel system. The pre-fabrication allows for a tighter tolerance and higher construction and quality. Being manufactured off-site brings an economy to the project which could not be met with typical construction processes.
Functioning as a critical element to the success of this mixed-use development, The Radian’s green roof is located on an elevated terrace above ground-floor retail and adjacent to an outdoor dining area. The goal for its location was to make the roof approachable and to maximize the visibility of the system in order to bring residents and users of the terrace closer to understanding its eco-value. As a result, the roof functions as an environmental and educational amenity for the project. The 12,000 square foot green roof covers 20% of The Radian’s total footprint and was originally designed to satisfy the city’s stormwater control regulations.
The Rutgers Camden Graduate Student housing project was aimed at boosting on-campus enrollment and revitalizing the city’s downtown. The 12-story building on Cooper Street, the first new student housing in Camden in more than two decades, houses about 350 students and includes about 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground level.
Erdy McHenry Architecture teamed with Michaels Development Company (MDC) for this very important project. MDC’s university housing division, University Student Living, develops, constructs, and manages student housing communities in areas adjacent to colleges and universities across the country.
It has been a goal of the Rutgers Student Governing Association to increase on-campus population. This housing and retail complex brings new energy to this campus and creates critical mass, which will likely expand to surrounding downtown Camden, encouraging future development. The 7,000 sq.ft. of retail space, defining the building at street level, re-establishes a language of community, greeting pedestrians and residents alike. Through innovative building practices, coalesced with a distinct neighborhood vernacular, the project is taking part in revitalizing Camden’s community while creating a distinct collegiate environment.
2012 – AIA Philadelphia Merit Award – Built Category
The Northside Dining Terrace is a 5,000 square foot addition to the existing Kelly Hall dormitory on the campus of Drexel University.
The Dining Terrace seats approximately 140 students inside with additional seating outside on the terrace and steps. The space was designed to facilitate a pedestrian link for a community of students, faculty and staff. Located amongst a collegiate urban fabric, it provides a scenery astray from the typical college dinning experience by establishing a more intimate and less institutional setting.
2010 General Building Contractors Association Award for Best Institutional Project under $15 million.
The Vertical Screen headquarters is constructed on a brownfield site that was part the Johnsville Naval Air Development Center, which was the primary training facility for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. The building’s unique architecture speaks to the technological innovation and heroic scale of its place. The open hangar-like structure provides a spacious, open office environment that is connected to the surrounding landscape. The owner’s extensive artwork collection focuses (paradoxically) on seminal imagery of industrial innovation once considered progressive by our carbon-addicted society as an inspirational counterpoint to the building’s expressive environmental features.
Additional innovation is evidenced by the “green pods” where nature is brought inside with a vegetated wall, fresh air is more efficiently delivered through under-floor raised access floor and nature is indoors and out. Live plants grow on top to provide oxygen and decor. They are watered with the rainwater collection system when available. This harvesting system collects rainwater from 60% of the roof and stores it in a 50,000 gallon underground tank. The water is used to flush low-flow toilet fixtures and water faucets as well as to irrigate interior green walls and onsite landscaping.
Automatic window shades and light-dimming systems allow precise balance between daylight and artificial light, while numerous windows allow for a direct connection to the natural environment. The building is made up of an array of re-purposed materials, including certified cut wood products, bamboo casework and doors, recycled glass counter-tops and carpeting made from recycled tires. All interior spaces that needed to be enclosed by the program are condensed into a two-story massing that is covered by an exterior shell. These include mechanical rooms, stairs, bathrooms, the data center and conference rooms.
Located on the roof, 900 solar panels generate 164 kilowatts to provide 20% of the building’s energy requirements. A cylindrical solar panel design captures both direct sunlight from above and reflected sunlight from a white “cool” rooftop. The unique shape of the panels allows wind to naturally flow through the spaces between the panel cylinders. In addition to increasing the efficiency of the system by keeping it cooler, the reflective white roof also contributes to energy savings by providing a more efficient building envelope that reduces the building’s air conditioning load.
A closed-loop, geothermal water source heat pump includes approximately 65 closed-loop wells installed at a 500 ft. depth in order to utilize the earth’s mean temperature—utilized to heat and cool the building. The use of groundsource heatpumps at a brownfield site and for a large commercial building is very unusual and required additional care due to the site’s former use. Geothermal wells and horizontal manifold is routed beneath the parking area, with the remainder of the site dedicated to a corporate farm and greenhouse.
The building has an exceptional system for real-time monitoring and automated controls for water and energy use. In addition to building management having access, the information is displayed in the lobby and is available through the company’s website. Vertical Screen has also begun the process of obtaining LEED for Existing Building certification, ensuring that it is being managed to the highest sustainability standards.
Since the building opened in April 2011, more than 2,000 individuals have toured the facility. These tour participants have ranged from professional groups of architects, green consultants, and engineers to teachers, government administrators, artists, and art collectors. Also, many “lay” persons have toured the facility ranging from classes of elementary school children to older adults. Each tour, tailored to the specific group, reviews the key energy saving strategies that the building uses to achieve its energy saving performance, as well as the materials and construction methods used in constructing a LEED Platinum building.
The new headquarters was awarded LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in November 2011, the highest sustainability designation granted by the USGBC. Vertical Screen’s LEED Platinum score of 58 points, which made the building the greenest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and tied it for the seventh-highest LEED score for a newly constructed office building in the United States. It is also ranked as the ninth highest in the world.
The Rialto at The Piazza is located on a three-acre portion on the south side of the former Schmidt’s Brewery site. It is the centerpiece of the Piazza at Schmidt’s development in Northern Liberties. The all-glass office building responds to its environment by using a performitive data analysis to develop a mosaic glass pattern that is based on views and solar orientation.
The Rialto is a 30,000 square foot, seven- story building with six floors of office space and 4,000 square feet of restaurant space at the ground floor.
Situated in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia, this apartment building contributes to the continued growth of the area by providing loft-type apartments above a small ground-floor commercial space. The mass of the building is lifted off the ground to allow parking at the ground level, but also to invoke a sense of weightlessness in the upper portion of the building. The facade is composed of shallow balconies, full-height windows, and brick panels that slide between concrete floor slabs. This works as a counterpoint to the traditional punched-opening scheme that is abundant among Philadelphia architecture, both old and new.
Each unit plan is centered around a utility core that includes a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, closets and a gas fireplace. The object-like quality of the core allows for free circulation around and through each unit, lending the space a loft-like sensibility. Sliding partitions add to this pinwheel movement of space and allow the dweller to place furniture and other objects at their discretion. A significantly thick exterior wall stands in opposition to the openness of the plan and provides window niches deep enough for a reading chair. Encompassing an integral feel to the interior, shallow balconies draw daylight into the living space, as opposed to deeper balconies which tend to feel separate and shadowy.
A mixture of unit sizes and configurations accommodate family groups of different sizes and a shared roof deck overlooking Center City encourages a lively sense of community.
The building’s massing acts to elevate the existing context by creating a form that is consistent with the remaining urban fabric of “freestanding” row homes. The two bar shapes (chapel and dormitory) represent row home forms and create a safe interior gathering space and recreation area. The two forms are connected at each level by translucent bridges that subtly reveal silhouettes of the members as they move toward the chapel. This revealing of the circulation seeks to connect the exterior to the activities of the interior.
The building will stand as a positive element of the community and have a prominent presence at street level, as well as a recognizable facade from the Ben Franklin Bridge. The new center will be a four-story, 20,000-square-foot facility that will have a 45-bed residential capacity, a chapel for worship and group meetings, and an exterior recreational area.
Drexel University’s history and reputation are heavily rooted in engineering and technology disciplines, so it seems only appropriate that those aspects of its built environment occupy a more prominent place in the conceptual infrastructure of the campus. This new dormitory is a building that is more than a superficial or decorative relationship, but rather a collaboration that respects and reflects the fundamental pedagogy of Drexel’s historical roots.
This project was a collaboration between Erdy McHenry Architecture and Cecil Balmond, one of the worlds leading structural engineers. The building is the first at Drexel to establish and promote a design approach that embraces an integrated design team where the systems and structures are the conceptual drivers.
The dormitory plan strives to achieve a high level of efficiency by locating all stacked core elements toward the center of the plan and through allowing the students rooms to radiate about the edge of the core. While the core maintains the same orientation throughout the entire height of the building, the students’ rooms rotate about the core.
Two significant conceptual explorations gave form to the design for this church— “re-pitching the tent” and the four devotions of St. Aloysius.
“Repitching the tent”, expressed in the delicate soaring roof lines, evokes the concept of simple worship. The roof is drawn from Old Testament references to pitching of the tent as a place for worship, and New Testament revival references to re-pitching the tent. The metaphor of a tent yields a building rich in concept and formal expression.
The Four Devotions of St. Aloysius – Blessed Sacrament, Passion of Our Lord, Love of Our Lady, and Choir of Angels – sit adjacent to the large concrete buttresses that anchor the roof.
The entry sequence exploits the social implications of gathering for worship. The relationship to parking dictates a singular approach through a series of increasingly intimate spaces that prepare congregants for worship in communion with their fellow parishioners. An intimate courtyard is formed between the gathering space and the daily chapel, which allows viewers to visually connect with the sanctuary prior to entering the building. Passing through the gathering space, which connects the new church to the existing, one passes the Baptismal Font while entering the sanctuary. The Baptismal is located axially opposite the altar and the Adoration Chapel. This relationship connects the congregation to both the Baptismal and the Blessed Sacrament upon entering and departing the sanctuary.
Radiant underfloor heating was employed to create a comfortable environment within the large open space of the sanctuary. In addition, extended overhangs around the building reduce the cooling load by reduction of heat build-up due to solar heat gain. Large infiltration basins and cisterns adjacent to the structure capture and filter the storm-water from the building’s roof.
Erdy McHenry Architecture was contracted to design this new office building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard by Liberty Property Trust and Synterra Partners. The four-story, LEED Gold certified building contains 100,000 square feet of office space around a central atrium at the core. This building is part of the ongoing effort to revitalize the Navy Yard, which will bring new life and excitement to this important landmark in Philadelphia’s history.
The building anchors the corner of Three Crescent Drive and Diagonal Boulevard, making it the first building in the overall master plan to occupy this main axis of the Navy Yard. This site is visible from various locations around the Navy Yard, including Interstate 95. The exterior of the building is clad in fiber cement board, which gives the building an ever changing skin dependent on the time of day and amount of sunlight present.
Each office space has natural light and panoramic views of the ever changing Navy Yard and Philadelphia skyline. The building was designed to optimize the amount of sunlight entering into each office, thus increasing productivity in the workplace. The ground floor houses retail space and a cafe for employees and future residents around the site.
The wood wall at the atrium was designed to allow light to penetrate the space and filter into offices and down to the lobby below. This wall is hidden from the exterior and only reveals itself upon entering the building. The wall also brings warmth into the space and breaks up the large vertical atrium.
The north facade incorporates sun traps to reflect light into the building in the morning and evening when the sun is at a lower position in the sky. An exterior courtyard space acts as a refuge for employees and as a buffer between Three Crescent and future buildings along the Diagonal Boulevard.
Conceived of as a place as opposed to a building, the café creates a quiet respite for visitors to reflect on their visit to Independence Mall and absorb the vastness of both the monuments and history that make up Philadelphia. Located just across from Independence Mall Visitor’s Center, the central location acts as a catalyst for activity midway through the mall sequence.
The café structure provides food-service support for the upper terrace and allows for a variety of menu and drink options. Building on the National Park Service’s long history of open picnic/dining facilities, the café is a minimal, open-air structure that provides moderate protection from the elements. The east and west facades of the structure are comprised of movable glass walls that can be fully open or closed depending on weather conditions. This flexibility enables the café to extend its usable seasons for visitors.
In phase 2 of the project, a hyperbolic paraboloid tent structure will provide shade and moderate protection from the elements, which further defines the site as a space for café visitors. This more intimate setting will provide an area for outdoor educational programming.
In response to Drexel University’s acute shortage for undergraduate student housing, the new dormitory was designed, engineered and constructed in fewer than 13 months. The project was organized by the university as design-build in order to accommodate the necessary fast-track schedule. This allowed for a more transparent process that brings together client, architect, builder, and subcontractors as active participants in the design process.
The new dormitory enhances the current and future campus pedestrian circulation. Taking cues from the university’s master plan, the housing space rises up from the ground to allow passage through the site, which enables a stronger connection between residential and campus areas of the university.
A cast concrete plinth mediates the sloping site topography and establishes the entry sequence for the dormitory. The transparency of the first floor exposes the shared program elements for the building, which include: gathering/ recreation space, mail and package room, vending, administrative services, and laundry area. The corner areas of each floor contain quiet reading areas and a shared kitchen/ meeting space. Mechanical space, maintenance shops and bicycle storage is accommodated within the plinth.
The bedroom floors consist of four-bed suites with a shared living room. The layout configuration allows the suites to be mirrored in plan regardless of location. The exterior panel configuration reflects the location of the living rooms on the interior, adding variety to both the facade and the access corridor.
Systems selections were evaluated based on speed and constructability. The structural system is precast concrete plank set onto a steel frame. The exterior wall panels are shop-fabricated and were placed on the building as a finished, water-tight assembly consisting of brick, aluminum, glass and ribbed metal.
The program for this 1,200-bed residence building and 91,000 square foot retail building was designed to address the continuing renewal along the North Board Street Corridor. Adjacent to Temple University, this revitalized city block has become an active commercial and residential center that extends beyond the campus.
The project is comprised of two buildings, each organized to serve a different function. The commercial building occupies the active Broad Street edge, while the residential building sits toward the western boundary that’s adjacent to existing residential stock in the community. At the northwest corner, there are eight existing buildings, which were spared from demolition and provide a wonderful juxtaposition between old and new.
Two access strategies were implemented to connect the residence building to the neighborhood. The first access strategy is a diagonal pedestrian walk running northeast into the heart of Temple’s campus. The second is a drop-off parking lot and access point from the southwest. This diagonal circulation creates a unique opportunity for student-oriented commercial connection in the base of the residence building.
The residential building’s interior is borne of a need for the utmost in flexibility. Given the building’s program as a private dormitory, rooms needed to be able to be rented as students desired. A four-bedroom unit serves as the standard arrangement throughout the plan and all units are derivative of it. This system offers each floor an unlimited number of unit arrangements. Given that each bedroom has its own bathroom, units are able to be divided by 1, 2, 3 or 4 room leases according to demand at the time. This allows the building to adapt to students needs and wants over time.
Coatesville’s location along Brandywine Creek was central to its early development. The relative flatness of the valley allowed for agricultural development, and its proximity to the creek provided ample natural resources for the region. In 1787, Moses Coates, a prosperous farmer and the area’s first postmaster, purchased land that now comprises the center of Coatesville. Today, Coatesville consists of three neighborhoods, from east to west: the primarily residential east end, the central business district, and the residential west end. The Brandywine Creek and the wide industrial belt that follows the creek divides the city into two ends. The vacancy at the geographic center of town, paired with an under-used waterfront, provides enormous possibilities for reinvigorating the city through a large-scale and multi-use project.
The site occupies a prominent location at the intersection of the Lincoln Highway and Brandywine Creek. It is further distinguished by a rail viaduct that cuts through the north portion of the site, while the south end of the site is bordered by several steel mill buildings. Development of this nexus is absolutely critical to restoring a sense of vitality to Coatesville. The redevelopment aims to recall the vitality of this once booming steel town. The master plan calls for large-scale construction, which will create new jobs for the area and a sense of excitement that only comes with this type of economic resurgence.
2005 – AIA Philadelphia Silver Medal for an Unbuilt Project