Drexel Opens Revamped Venturi Scott-Brown Building in Philadelphia

East
Friday, April 12, 2013
.
The exterior of 3501 Market Street by Robert Venturi (Courtesy of Drexel University)

The exterior of 3501 Market Street by Robert Venturi. (Courtesy of Drexel University)

A few years ago Drexel University embarked on an ambitious plan to convert one of Philadelphia’s iconic postmodern landmarks by Venturi Scott Brown Associates (VSBA) into a new home for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Tonight the University will celebrate the official opening of its new building, dubbed the URBN Center, with a series of performances and demonstrations to showcase student work.

Interior of URBN Center by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD (Courtesy of Drexel University)

Interior of URBN Center by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD (Courtesy of Drexel University)

Minneapolis-based Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle (MS&R) led the renovation of VSBA’s 3501 Market Street, formally the Institute of Scientific Information, and the adjacent building at 3401 Filbert Street (designed by Bower, Lewis & Thrower). Pritzker-winner Robert Venturi and his wife and partner, Denise Scott Brown, famously called their buildings “decorated sheds,” a phrase intended to reflect a design philosophy that spaces should adapt to a variety of uses—hence, making Drexel’s decision to overhaul the interior of 3501 Market in keeping with the architecture duo’s original intent for the building.

Interior of URBN Center by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD (Courtesy of Drexel University)

Interior of URBN Center by Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD (Courtesy of Drexel University)

MS&R re-imagined the vast blank floor plan, but the firm was careful not to meddle with Venturi’s colorful mosaic facade. The firm radically changed the 140,000-square-foot facility—creating a dynamic maze of stairways and beams that spill into a number of different work spaces that house a music recording studio, a video game design lab, a printing studio, and a television broadcast production facility.

Richard A. Hayne, a member of the board of trustees and the CEO of the Philadelphia-based brand Urban Outfitters, donated $25 million to Drexel to buy the building. The university raised the remaining $47 million to fund construction costs.

One Response to “Drexel Opens Revamped Venturi Scott-Brown Building in Philadelphia”

  1. jinxian says:

    “famously called their buildings “decorated sheds,” a phrase intended to reflect a design philosophy that spaces should adapt to a variety of uses”

    hmm. interesting interpretation of that.

Post new comment

Name (required)

E-Mail (required)

Advertise on The Architect's Newspaper.

Submit your competitions for online listing.

Submit your events to AN's online calendar.




Archives

Categories

Copyright © 2014 | The Architect's Newspaper, LLC | AN Blog Admin Log in. The Architect's Newspaper LLC, 21 Murray Street 5th Floor | New York, New York 10007 | tel. 212.966.0630
Creative Commons License
Pinterest