Living and Learning Commons, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Eat, Work, Play Dormitory

This six-story, 130,000 sf, 426-bed student housing complex will engage students on the University of the Sciences campus by offering a place to sleep, study, and shop, and will re-activate the currently dormant 46th and Woodland Avenue block.

Set on the site of the former Alexander Wilson Public School, the project includes the demolition of the high school and subsequent reconstruction of the student housing structure. The design is centered around a large public courtyard. The ground floor spaces surrounding it include retail, classrooms, residence life offices, staff apartments and resident amenity spaces. Five stories of student units sit above these public uses.

The Harman Group, now IMEG provided a cost-effective analysis of how much of the existing Wilson school structure should remain with the goal of retaining as much of the existing foundation as possible. The results of the study culminated in the decision to retain the existing foundation at the south end of the site and parts of the southeast foundation.

The structural system has a transfer slab above the classrooms with load bearing cold formed studs walls and precast plank above. Hand laid brick at the perimeter required a hybrid of steel and cold formed steel.

The building is designed to achieve two Green Globes, the approximate equivalent of USGBC LEED Silver certification.

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Structural Systems Used

Structural Steel with Braced Frames