how can an urban campus promote ecological health?

DREXEL UNIVERSITY

Our work at Drexel University began with a plan. Our team worked closely with the Drexel community and architecture firm Goody Clancy to develop a master plan that produced iconic new spaces, enlivened the streets, and established a more sustainable campus. Andropogon then redesigned the heart of Drexel University as a web of woodland walks featuring diverse plant communities and a canopy of shade trees. The team incorporated gathering spaces in the design to accommodate daily interactions with flexible seating and food trucks, as well as formal areas for large-scale celebrations. John A. Fry, president of Drexel University, called Perelman Plaza a “true town square… the most spectacular community space Drexel has ever had.”

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Through a combination of porous paving, planting areas, and a new central green space, Andropogon was able to reduce the impervious cover by 96% at the main quadrangle of the campus. The site is now able to reduce the urban heat island effect and support biodiversity, providing important environmental benefits for the University City neighborhood.

PROJECT INFORMATION

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Size: 3 acres
  • Role: Prime, Landscape Architect of Record
  • Services: Master Planning, Concept Design, Sustainable Site Design, Stormwater Management, Construction Documentation and Observation

PUBLICATIONS

  • Inga Saffron, “A minimum of glitter, but it’s a real gem,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 25, 2011: E1.
  • Mary Myers, “Multivalent Landscape: The Salvation Army Kroc Community Center Case Study” in Landscape Journal, 2013, 32:2.
  • Joanne Greco, “Body AND Soul Centers” in Planning, March 2012: 26-30

AWARDS

  • 2012 SCUP Honor Award in Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus from the Society for College and University Planning, with Goody Clancy Architects