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 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 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.
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 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
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.
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, previously 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.
Shooters is Philadelphia’s leader for video production and post-production editing, including non-linear and HDTV format capability. The Curtis Building located in downtown Philadelphia was selected for their new location because the classical forms of the existing space provide an interesting contrast to the state of the art equipment that is at the core of their business.
Requirements of the studio environment mandated specialized detailing for all critical areas. General editing studios are designed to meet a rating of 55 STC, and voice-over booths and audio recording are to approach a sound transmission coefficient of 60. For increased sound isolation, the audio recording suite features wood parquet-flooring set into a loose sand base.
In order to minimize structure borne noise, studios were ”floated” within the space as individually roofed boxes. This minimized contact with the structure of the building and allowed the architecture to exist unimpeded beneath the vaults of the original Curtis Ballroom.
The program includes FIRE, AVID editing suites, SPIRIT DATACINE film transfer, and a full production graphics department. Each of the editing suites cluster around a central machine room for ease of access and sound isolation of the equipment.
Digital Audio Recording is clustered around a separate machine room and has direct access to sound isolated voice over and audio studios. The main audio studio features a fully isolated wood floor, which floats within a reservoir of loose sand.
The former Curtis Ballroom space is host to the primary public actives in the Shooters facility. The kitchen/bar area provides space for continual catering needs while providing a central space for informal interaction.
For client convenience, telephone rooms provide a quite space for clients to communicate with their home office, plug-in and check email, and keep in touch with other projects.
Meridian Telesis serves the co-location needs of growing Internet and Web-centric businesses, internet service providers, application service providers, data warehousing companies, telecommunications carriers, and other businesses that need professionally maintained, secure facilities for the deployment of internet and telecommunications equipment.
As companies migrate mission-critical content and transactions to the internet, this flagship co-location facility for Meridian Telesis provides non-stop, non-congested, fault-tolerant and scalable operations to allow them to perform globally over the internet. The flagship is located within the newly completed Port of Technology within the University City Science Center, a consortium of universities, research centers and state and local governments including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Carnegie Mellon University, Penn State University, the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Meridian Telesis’s co-location facilities are designed to provide state-of-the-art, secure, full-service, neutral operating environments of typically 10,000 to 15,000 square feet in the first-phase build out for co-location of customer equipment and associated environmental and power systems. This technology is at the physical center of the facility and central to the architectural expression of the products and services offered by Meridian Telesis. High-tech glass separating the public area from the co-location space obscures views into the servers until an individual has received clearance from the N.O.C. The N.O.C., providing continuous technical support and monitoring, is very much on display to guide visitors and technicians to the secure access point for clearance. The yellow pillbox shape is environmentally separate from the co-location facility but affords 180-degree surveillance of the co-location facility and its surrounding support functions.
Providing its clients up to 20,000 square feet of world-class co-location space, the facility’s infrastructure parameters include the following features:
The facility juxtaposes high-end office space with elements of raw technology in order to express the duality of today’s high-tech culture.