Renovated Drexel University academic building will welcome students with front porch

A large screen sets a living room vibe for the Philadelphia academic building. Plans call for 9,000 sf of common space on the inside and a new quad on the outside.

June 13, 2016 |

Drexel's Korman Center. Renderings courtesy Gluckman Tang Architects. Click here to enlarge.

Large cantilevered terra cotta screens will create a “front porch” for the expansion to Drexel University’s Korman Center.

Construction will soon begin on Gluckman Tang Architects’ new project, a renovation to the Philadelphia academic building that opened in 1958.

The school and architects (including landscape design Andropogon Associates) wanted to improve the campus atmosphere by creating a sort of outdoor living room. Large screens will hang 15 feet off the face of the building, under which students can sit, socialize, and work. The screen also shields the building’s two-story glazed wall from solar heat gain.

The first floor of the building features a double-height lobby and lounges. Study spaces on the second floor overlook the outdoor spaces. Plans call for 9,000 sf of common space inside the building. 

“This project presents an opportunity to engage and enhance the heart of the Drexel campus,” said Dana Tang, partner at Gluckman Tang Architects. “Our design aspires to give new life to the public face of the Korman Center by projecting openness and transparency and creating dynamic, day-lit interior spaces that connect with an active front porch on the Korman Quad.”

The open green area around the building, named the Korman Quadrangle, will be spruced up with new walkways and canopy trees, which provide more shade so students can comfortably relax in the quad.

Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2017. The project costs $16 million, split between the university and a gift from the Hyman Korman Family Foundation.

(Click renderings to enlarge.)

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