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The Radian

Erdy McHenry Architecture LLC

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Project Description

The Radian is a 500-bed residential and retail center at the edge of University of Pennsylvania’s rapidly expanding campus. The project was developed by a private developer in collaboration with the University which owns the land. The design integrates ground level retail, residential services, and open space into a hybrid building that not only serves its residents and the entire University population, but the broader West Philadelphia community as well.

Ground level retail pushes back from the street opening a public space for informal gathering. The residential entrance exists along this axis and public activity extends up and under the residential tower via a grand stair. This open court aligns with an adjacent quad on the south side of Walnut Street connecting to Locust Walk. Outdoor dining options are provided at the upper terrace level and allow for glimpses onto the street.

The ground floor lobby extends from the entry court through to Walnut Street with the resident mail room and study lounge located on Sansom Street to draw the residents through the building. The residents utilize the lobby as a thruway to help energize a long suffering street presence along Sansom Street.

The lobby geometries reflect the geometrical shift between the ground floor and residential tower above. The ceiling negotiates the complex structural shift and conceals the building systems that penetrate down through the lobby to the below grade utilities.
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