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.
3201 Race Street Apartments is a 175,000 square foot mixed-use development in University City on Drexel University’s campus several blocks from 30th Street Station. The project is comprised of a 16-story mixed-use tower including a 180-person early learning childcare center on the lower two floors and 164 market rate apartments.
The apartments will provide 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units and will cater to the dynamic “Eds & Meds” market in University City. The development includes a community plaza/garden, underground parking and residential amenities including a fitness center, game room, library, communal gourmet kitchen and a rooftop deck with a gas fire pit, grill and seating with spectacular views to downtown. Completion is scheduled for Spring 2017.
Evo and Sky Green at Cira Centre South is a new off-campus residential Tower and one-acre park located in University City. The Tower extends the Cira skyline on the western bank of the Schuylkill River and represents a new housing option on a challenging site within walking distance to retail, residential, mass transportation and university facilities. EVO features attractively furnished units with bed-bath parity. It includes a broad array of high-end appointments including a roof top swimming pool, media lounge and a 24-hour fitness center.
The Tower is more than a place to sleep, eat and enjoy the wealth of amenities expected in a contemporary residential tower. This Tower is a critical component providing supportive, human-scaled residential communities. Smartly located “Public Squares” within the building are hubs of intellectual, social and recreational activity that stand at the center of a college experience, bringing together students, faculty, staff and the general public to form shared communities within the larger context of the nearby campuses and the City of Philadelphia.
Dubbed one of the tallest student apartment buildings in the United States, EVO sets new standards for student urban apartment living and along with its one-acre green roof as an added amenity, this project is in line to also establish new standards in sustainability and storm water management, targeting LEED Gold.
2015 – NCSEA Structural Engineering Award – Outstanding Project over $100 million
2015 – AIA Philadelphia Honor Award for a Built Project
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 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 Vertical Screen headquarters is constructed on a brownfield site that was part the Johnsville Naval Air Development Center, which was the primary training facility for the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. The building’s unique architecture speaks to the technological innovation and heroic scale of its place. The open hangar-like structure provides a spacious, open office environment that is connected to the surrounding landscape. The owner’s extensive artwork collection focuses (paradoxically) on seminal imagery of industrial innovation once considered progressive by our carbon-addicted society as an inspirational counterpoint to the building’s expressive environmental features.
Additional innovation is evidenced by the “green pods” where nature is brought inside with a vegetated wall, fresh air is more efficiently delivered through under-floor raised access floor and nature is indoors and out. Live plants grow on top to provide oxygen and decor. They are watered with the rainwater collection system when available. This harvesting system collects rainwater from 60% of the roof and stores it in a 50,000 gallon underground tank. The water is used to flush low-flow toilet fixtures and water faucets as well as to irrigate interior green walls and onsite landscaping.
Automatic window shades and light-dimming systems allow precise balance between daylight and artificial light, while numerous windows allow for a direct connection to the natural environment. The building is made up of an array of re-purposed materials, including certified cut wood products, bamboo casework and doors, recycled glass counter-tops and carpeting made from recycled tires. All interior spaces that needed to be enclosed by the program are condensed into a two-story massing that is covered by an exterior shell. These include mechanical rooms, stairs, bathrooms, the data center and conference rooms.
Located on the roof, 900 solar panels generate 164 kilowatts to provide 20% of the building’s energy requirements. A cylindrical solar panel design captures both direct sunlight from above and reflected sunlight from a white “cool” rooftop. The unique shape of the panels allows wind to naturally flow through the spaces between the panel cylinders. In addition to increasing the efficiency of the system by keeping it cooler, the reflective white roof also contributes to energy savings by providing a more efficient building envelope that reduces the building’s air conditioning load.
A closed-loop, geothermal water source heat pump includes approximately 65 closed-loop wells installed at a 500 ft. depth in order to utilize the earth’s mean temperature—utilized to heat and cool the building. The use of groundsource heatpumps at a brownfield site and for a large commercial building is very unusual and required additional care due to the site’s former use. Geothermal wells and horizontal manifold is routed beneath the parking area, with the remainder of the site dedicated to a corporate farm and greenhouse.
The building has an exceptional system for real-time monitoring and automated controls for water and energy use. In addition to building management having access, the information is displayed in the lobby and is available through the company’s website. Vertical Screen has also begun the process of obtaining LEED for Existing Building certification, ensuring that it is being managed to the highest sustainability standards.
Since the building opened in April 2011, more than 2,000 individuals have toured the facility. These tour participants have ranged from professional groups of architects, green consultants, and engineers to teachers, government administrators, artists, and art collectors. Also, many “lay” persons have toured the facility ranging from classes of elementary school children to older adults. Each tour, tailored to the specific group, reviews the key energy saving strategies that the building uses to achieve its energy saving performance, as well as the materials and construction methods used in constructing a LEED Platinum building.
The new headquarters was awarded LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in November 2011, the highest sustainability designation granted by the USGBC. Vertical Screen’s LEED Platinum score of 58 points, which made the building the greenest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and tied it for the seventh-highest LEED score for a newly constructed office building in the United States. It is also ranked as the ninth highest in the world.
The Rialto at The Piazza is located on a three-acre portion on the south side of the former Schmidt’s Brewery site. It is the centerpiece of the Piazza at Schmidt’s development in Northern Liberties. The all-glass office building responds to its environment by using a performitive data analysis to develop a mosaic glass pattern that is based on views and solar orientation.
The Rialto is a 30,000 square foot, seven- story building with six floors of office space and 4,000 square feet of restaurant space at the ground floor.
Situated in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia, this apartment building contributes to the continued growth of the area by providing loft-type apartments above a small ground-floor commercial space. The mass of the building is lifted off the ground to allow parking at the ground level, but also to invoke a sense of weightlessness in the upper portion of the building. The facade is composed of shallow balconies, full-height windows, and brick panels that slide between concrete floor slabs. This works as a counterpoint to the traditional punched-opening scheme that is abundant among Philadelphia architecture, both old and new.
Each unit plan is centered around a utility core that includes a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, closets and a gas fireplace. The object-like quality of the core allows for free circulation around and through each unit, lending the space a loft-like sensibility. Sliding partitions add to this pinwheel movement of space and allow the dweller to place furniture and other objects at their discretion. A significantly thick exterior wall stands in opposition to the openness of the plan and provides window niches deep enough for a reading chair. Encompassing an integral feel to the interior, shallow balconies draw daylight into the living space, as opposed to deeper balconies which tend to feel separate and shadowy.
A mixture of unit sizes and configurations accommodate family groups of different sizes and a shared roof deck overlooking Center City encourages a lively sense of community.
The building’s massing acts to elevate the existing context by creating a form that is consistent with the remaining urban fabric of “freestanding” row homes. The two bar shapes (chapel and dormitory) represent row home forms and create a safe interior gathering space and recreation area. The two forms are connected at each level by translucent bridges that subtly reveal silhouettes of the members as they move toward the chapel. This revealing of the circulation seeks to connect the exterior to the activities of the interior.
The building will stand as a positive element of the community and have a prominent presence at street level, as well as a recognizable facade from the Ben Franklin Bridge. The new center will be a four-story, 20,000-square-foot facility that will have a 45-bed residential capacity, a chapel for worship and group meetings, and an exterior recreational area.
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.
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.
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.
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 addition is 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 enables an extremely high rate of efficiency because the majority of the services and circulation space are 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 is 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 provides a more visible profile from the street, enhancing the identity of the existing building while drawing interest to the streetscape.
The large, tooled surface of the west façade is 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 create exterior space for all of the dwelling units while sliver windows bring light and view to the usually dark middle of the building.
The interiors are 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.
2007 – AIA Philadelphia Honor Award for an Unbuilt Project