Philadelphia University, in East Falls, has just broken ground on a new building for their new College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. The new building will be a 38,500 square foot, $20 million addition to the campus with a very unique shape when it opens in the spring of 2013. It is intended to be the hub of the new college, that was created to encourage entrepreneurship and teach students to commercialize their ideas and be familiar with modern business practices.
The building, designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, is starting now because Philadelphia University has just received a $5 million grant from an anonymous donor. The university is in the midst of a large capital campaign, in order to, broaden its focus from a small, industry focused institution into a university which prepares students for a variety of business-related majors. The new college will not only encourage entrepreneurial thinking, but also, collaboration between students studying various majors, such as design or engineering, so that they can be more collaborative in the workplace after graduation. As a result, the building will have removable walls and moveable furniture, so that workspaces and group study areas can be reconfigured for different projects and events. The building will include collaborative design studios, classrooms, workshops, research space, a computer design lab, and a prototype fabrication workshop. The facility will have classroom lectures and events, and be used for projects and student displays. The outside of the building will, also, have an innovative design. It will be built into a hill and will be clad in a circle of steel mesh.
I have a link to the Philadelphia University website here, that explains the new college and the new building further, and I have renderings below.