12/10/2010

Mixed-Use Educational and Housing Facility in North Philadelphia

Philadelphia design firm WRT is designing a new mixed-use educational and residential facility in North Philadelphia for the organization Brighter Hope, a partnership of the Goldenberg Group and Bright Hope Baptist Church.  The project calls for the renovation of the former John Wanamaker Middle School for new Temple student housing and renovation of an existing gym and auditorium into a "green technologies center" and a charter school.

"The lively public realm and mix of users envisioned for this project take full advantage of its fortunate location between Temple University and the neighborhood, and between multiple regional rail lines and the Broad Street subway.  Creating a vibrant transit-oriented development at this significant town & gown location," said Antonio Fiol-Silva, a principal at WRT involved in the projects design.


The 4.5 acre site at 11th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue will contain housing for 2500 student residents.  Phase I of WRT's master plan calls for renovating the existing school for 600 beds in 180 units, as well as a new Green Construction Training Center and an Arts & Education Forum.  The project targets LEED Silver, maximizing the structures potential for adaptive re-use, and incorporating recycled content materials, energy efficient HVAC systems, and progressive storm water strategies.  Future phases include two new high-rise student residential structures, retail, a large open courtyard, and a structured parking facility.