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Erdy McHenry Architecture
915 Orianna Street
Philadelphia PA 19123
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The Edge at Avenue North

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.