The center of Drexel University’s campus was mostly paved, the by-product of years of creating new buildings without much emphasis on the spaces between them. The challenge was to create a place where students wanted to be while accommodating a high volume of pedestrian traffic. The solution reintroduced the historic Woodland Walk (a former street, notable for its diagonal emphasis within a largely orthogonal Philadelphia grid) while creating a large green space.
Perelman Plaza and Korman Quadrangle transformed disjointed, vehicular-oriented spaces into one of the campus’s greatest assets that unites the surrounding buildings and provides a much-needed campus identity. Rather than focusing the campus inward, Drexel’s new campus identity welcomes the school’s 26,000 students and the surrounding community to enter and linger in an amenity space that connects people with each other and with the natural and academic environment.
Using native plants, a distinctive hardscape palette, and multi-use seating, the 4-acre open space activates a critical circulation corridor for students, staff, and the greater community. Gathering spaces of varied scales support daily social interaction while flexibly accommodating large-scale events. The open space system is additionally designed to manage stormwater and provide critical, biophilic benefits to users.
Perelman Plaza and Korman Quadrangle comprise a major first step in fulfilling the mission of Drexel’s Campus Master Plan and Strategic Vision, to “transform the modern university.” The projects also celebrate Drexel’s key role in providing a physical gateway from Center City Philadelphia into West Philadelphia.
Andropogon; also Meliora Design; Tillett Lighting Design Associates, Inc.; Mulhern Engineering; Irrigation Consulting, Inc.; Keast & Hood; Craul Land Scientists; Becker & Frondorf; exit Design