The EVO Tower extends the Cira skyline on the western bank of the Schuylkill River and provides a gateway to University City. At 33 stories, this property is the tallest student residence in North America. Developed by Campus Crest in conjunction with Brandywine Realty Trust, the residential tower offers the graduate and professional students of Philadelphia a luxurious alternative to existing campus based and Center City apartment options.
The building is designed to promote interaction within. Similar to Philadelphia’s public squares, the double-height lounges are vibrant internal community spaces. The sectional interaction of the spaces promotes a sectional interaction among the residents. At the building’s apex, the form is cut back to reveal the rooftop pool, fitness, and lounge areas that provide unparalleled views of Center City.
Project Area: 550,000 square feet, 850 residents
Sustainability: Target LEED Gold Certification
Completion Date: Fall 2014
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.
This thin, 17-story condominium tower slides into place beside the Cunningham building on Chestnut Street, an early 20th century building of similar proportions. The primary gesture is that of a vertical plane which is then folded and draped over both the existing and new buildings. The folded plane is then sliced and peeled back to reveal stunning views of its dense Center City environment.
The Cunningham Lofts were awarded a 2007 AIA Honor Award, and were proposed to be a slender addition to the existing Cunningham Building. The addition was to be comprised of modern condominium housing with a small retail space located on the ground floor as well as a mezzanine. This 18-story space would serve as a beacon to the rejuvenated 13th Street corridor neighborhood. Ultimately, the new site would help to elevate the developing neighborhood to the status of the more highly regarded blocks of Chestnut Street located west of Broad Street.
The Cunningham Building addition would’ve enabled an extremely high rate of efficiency because the majority of the services and circulation space were provided within the existing Cunningham Building. In this manner, the addition is viewed as a parasite to the existing structure, taking advantage of the existing utility chases, vertical and horizontal circulation spaces and a portion of the structure.
However, the relationship of the two structures should really be classified as a symbiotic parasitic relationship. The addition was designed to provide a structural brace frame that would allow the existing structure to meet more stringent seismic code requirements for high-rise buildings. Additionally, the new structure would’ve provided a more visible profile from the street, which would enhance the identity of the existing building while drawing interest to the streetscape.
The large, tooled surface of the west façade was designed to become a landscape that activates the three visible facades, circumventing the usually monolithic scheme of a tower, while enabling more light and air onto the city street. The various cut-outs, set-backs and terraces were to create exterior space for all of the dwelling units while sliver windows would bring light and view to the usually dark middle of the building.
The interiors were designed to take advantage of long views through the narrow footprint of the building, drawing attention to the full height glazing that affords views of the Center City skyline.
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.
Syracuse University needed housing to supports its law school expansion without affecting the University’s debt capacity. Erdy McHenry was able to design the University’s first privatized collegiate housing development in a way that would both meet the needs of the University, enhance the campus and learning experience for the law student, and stay under the proposed budget. The final Campus West at Syracuse University was successfully completed under budget, and upon its on-scheduled completion, held a 97% occupation rate. It gives Syracuse the modern look it desired, and created a student-oriented space that also keeps residents connected with the surrounding community.
The new housing places an emphasis on study, specific to the needs of graduate and law school students. The housing primarily consists of studio and one-bedroom units to give the students’ privacy and to fuel a constructive study environment.
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.
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 new five-story, LEED certified courtyard will become a significant contributor in the continued revitalization of the Yard. Accounting for 100,000 square feet, this full service, 172-room hotel will become an integral part of the continuing implementation of the Navy Yard Masterplan.
The ground floor will house 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 will be 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 Pennsylvania Ballet’s current residence—and its home of the past 20 years—on South Broad Street is inadequate to meet the needs of the growing ballet company, as well as the needs of The Rock School, a significant organization with which it shares its facility. The proposed site for the Pennsylvania Ballet to call its new home is approximately 76,000 square feet divided among four buildings and holds 70+ feet of frontage along North Broad Street in Center City. This area is already home to several longstanding cultural and historic institutions, including the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and the Masonic Temple. Additionally, there is currently a proposed expansion of the Convention Center which will undoubtedly expand the cultural capital of this site.
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.
It’s 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 will finally allow the Ballet to replicate the stage of The Academy of Music in preparation for performances. The rehearsal studio will feature a glazed wall where people can observe dancers in rehearsal. A large skylight in the reception area will flood 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 Rutgers Camden Graduate Student housing project is aimed at boosting on-campus enrollment and revitalizing the city’s downtown region. The 12-story building at 330 Cooper Street is the first new student housing space in Camden in more than two decades. It houses 350 students and also includes approximately 7,000 square feet of retail space that helps define the building at street level. This space re-establishes a language of community that welcomes and greets pedestrians and residents alike. The rooftop seen at the lobby entrance of the complex is lined with greenspace that serves as both a college quad and a typical urban park.
Erdy McHenry Architecture teamed up with Michaels Development Company (MDC) for this monumental 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. The Rutgers Student Governing Association had a longstanding goal to increase on-campus population, and this complex helps to answer that endeavor. The housing and retail space brings new energy to the campus and creates critical mass which will likely expand to surrounding downtown Camden and encourage future city development.
Through innovative building practices, coalesced with a distinct neighborhood vernacular, the project will take part in revitalizing Camden’s community while creating a distinct collegiate environment.
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.
The Dining Terrace has been awarded the 2010 GBCA 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.
Children’s Crisis Treatment Center (CcTC) is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive mental health services to Philadelphia’s neediest children and their families. CcTC staff is currently spread out between two facilities, the primary location at 1823 Callowhill St. and a rented space at 417 N 8th St. The goal of this project is to consolidate the two disparate locations into the 1823 Callowhill facility by renovating the existing building and providing a 15,000 square foot addition.
The new building will allow all of CcTC’s departments to exist under one roof. This will ultimately support the enhancement of current programs while allocating additional areas to accommodate their current “homeless” staff. The open-space design promotes collaboration among staff members within the workplace and encourages a group approach to service delivery. This environment will ensure that clients have the benefit of a full team of clinicians and professionals working cohesively.
A sense of openness is encouraged throughout the entire project. Windows to be provided in staff areas will overlook the playground, which will allow staff to focus attentions on the children at play and remind staff members of the missions/goals of the program. The renovations to the building entrance will provide a warm, personal and welcoming environment in place of the existing impersonal, locked/buzzer entrance. The completed renovation and addition to the CcTC facility will increase the efficiency of the center and enable the staff to effectively pursue the mission of providing high quality services to all of their clients.
An underutilized, two-story structure in a vibrant urban strip in Center City Philadelphia presents a challenging adaptive reuse opportunity. This feasibility study commissioned by Goldman Properties (Soho and South Beach fame) examines three possibilities for adding on to the existing building structure, ranging from a one story addition that will utilize existing bearing wall structure, to a multistory overbuild. Proposed uses are to complement the existing retail environment at the lower levels with upper stories intended as flexible office or live/work environments.
This Tower Loft scheme activates the street with a three-story retail component that carves out a well adjacent to the sidewalk in order to incorporate the basement into the retail component. The two stories above the grade combine to offer a dramatic three-story space for a single large retailer or can be divided to create a multi-retail opportunity.
The overbuild, needled through the existing structure, emphasizes the different use in both form and expression. The front wall is louvered to control the southern exposure while the north side opens to accept natural daylight for artist lofts or other live/work scenarios. The side walls separate themselves from the property line, denying the bearing wall model that dominates the urban low-rise context. This separation allows slotted windows to introduce natural light to the center of the loft floors and to frame unique views of the city skyline and the urban squares that surround the site.
The loft spaces offer a twenty-foot ceiling height, which provide the option of large, sun-drenched interior space or the introduction of partial mezzanines as part of the fit-out to allow for efficient deployment of support functions and services.
The tube scheme a was bold approach to the challenge of creating an addition to a building within an urban context. The form and texture of the addition force the building to have an important role within the existing streetscape. This presence among the context allows an opportunity for retail display. This option also affords the tenants an outdoor terrace in the rear of the building, which reinforces the coexistence of public-retail and private-residential relationships.
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.
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.
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.
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 seeks to enhance 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.
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.
Mark’s Café is part of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Housing over 3,000,000 books, the library is an important student destination for both research and study. The café is located on the ground floor and provides both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a place where young people can refuel, meet fellow students, hold intellectual discussion, coordinate group projects, and meet informally with faculty.
Named after Mark Goldstein (C’83), Penn alumnus and son of Library Overseer Bernard Goldstein (W’53), the Café opened in 2003.
The creation of this new interactive space within the library provides a place for the free exchange of ideas in a more casual setting. The space, defined by a minimal enclosure, is fabricated as a modified möbius. The continuity of the möbius is implied by a normative shearing at logical points of access and transition. The enclosure provides an implied spatial boundary, while maintaining a presence of “the beyond”. This foreground/background experience mimics the iterative process of learning in the present through tacit observation and interaction, while always evaluating and referencing the context of codified knowledge of the library.
The möbius extends out from the café to greet visitors from the elevator lobby and Goldstein Undergraduate Study Center. The opposite end of the möbius dematerializes into a sheet of water, providing a medium for rear-projection at night.
It is the intent of the library to create a “cool-tech” environment, where cutting-edge technology is wrapped in a soft enclosure. The priority of the donor is to provide outstanding, European coffee, enabling students to spend longer hours in an environment of study and inquiry.
The space is technologically advanced and fully wireless. Students and faculty can proceed with their work in the café by utilizing wireless laptops both indoors and outdoors.
The café opens directly to the outdoors, reclaiming an existing underused sunken courtyard that faces College Green. This area produces an additional seating area that alots for twenty-five people.
This 200,000 square foot regional operations center facilitated the consolidation of several Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shields of New Jersey customer service facilities in and around Monmouth County, New Jersey. Developed by Commercial Realty and Resources Corp., the new facility was arranged in two wings that share a common entry core. The south wing accommodates a 30,000 square foot data center, a 15,000 square foot training center, and an employee dining facility. The north wing is primarily allocated to customer service groups supporting Horizon’s subscriber interface. This was a fast track project completed in 2004.
The building’s north and south wing contain nearly 100,000 square feet of office space, with each wing encompossing a fully functioning data center facility. Connecting the two wings is a three story glass box that unfolds to wrap the facade of the respective building wings. A series of floating bridges and a cantilevered staircases connect the various floors of the wings. A grand steel staircase hovers within the soaring three story height of the main lobby of the building. The full height glass wall allows for those within the lobby to overlook the landscaped dining terrace and a stand of existing trees that remain within the cradle of the two wings, which draws an element of greenery into the building.
All Pro landscaping—a landscape construction, maintenance and irrigation contractor—purchased a 30-acre, partially wooded parcel along a busy commercial highway in southern New Jersey to consolidate its operations, currently dispersed over several leased facilities.
The building expresses the nature of the landscape operation and the cultural idiosyncrasies of the organization in its form and materials. Nestled deep in the site, the base of the building utilizes materials typically employed in landscapes. This eruption of the landscape to form the enclosure of the ground floor of the building forms a plinth upon which the machine-like expression of the building’s upper story positions itself. This juxtaposition expresses the relationship between the equipment and landscape that is at the heart of the construction and maintenance operations of the organization.
Together with a proposed stand-alone retail garden center, the operations building sits as much as 700 feet back from the highway frontage and defines a lager parterre garden element, supplemented with a landscaped pond and other landscape/ hardscape elements. These components are presented to the highway and the passing traffic in stark contrast to the traditional New Jersey highway retail context marked by broad expanses of asphalt and parking in the front yard.
Expressed architecturally as if it were a vital organ that has been extracted for further study, the stand-alone guard post houses the inventory management functions and coordinates the daily materials handling activities for the construction and maintenance divisions as well as the retail operations. This structure also provides for 24-hour site surveillance and security.
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.
This 12,000 square foot project began when Goldman Properties contracted Erdy McHenry Architecture to transform an existing vacant building, located at the corner of 13th and Sansom Streets in Center City, Philadelphia, into loft apartments. The six-story structure was renovated into five, single-story lofts with a ground floor that’s comprised of retail space. Each apartment is now equipped with new kitchen and bath facilities, hardwood acoustical flooring, private elevator access, and a balcony overlooking Sansom Street.
In addition to a complete overhaul of the building’s interior space, a historical renovation of the exterior was implemented. This entailed the replacement of damaged windows and metal paneling on existing bay window projections, and installing new balconies to replace the existing egress balconies.
The original building structure was slender in nature, which enhanced the ability to maximize natural light as part of the renovations. Three bay windows on the south façade provide expansive views of the city while flooding the space with sunlight. Similarly, a western bay window is placed in each dining nook adjacent to the lofts’ kitchens.
Above each kitchen stands a platform that holds a small sleeping loft. The sleeping lofts are held tight to the building’s elevator shaft. Each apartment is serviced by a new ADA compliant elevator with individual key access for security that allows users to communicate with either the building lobby or apartment.