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 at Cira Centre South is a new off-campus residential Tower located in University City. The Tower extends the Cira skyline on the western bank of the Schuylkill River. University City derives its name from the presence of colleges, universities, health systems and think tanks, and is the neighborhood west of Philadelphia’s Central Business District.
The project offers a new housing option on a challenging site within walking distance to retail, residential, mass transportation and university facilities and 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. However, 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 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This new interactive space within the library provides a place for the free exchange of ideas in a more casual setting. Defined by a minimal enclosure, the space 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.
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 for twenty-five people.