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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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.