BLT Architects (BLTa), a Philadelphia-based architectural and interior design firm, was chosen by Drexel University to provide architectural and engineering services for the renovation of approximately 3,000 square-feet in Curtis Hall. BLTa has been retained to renovate the existing infrastructure and building systems in order to accommodate a new co-location for high-performance computing within the University. This will include designing modern systems infrastructure to support the needs of the center in place of an existing unused area on the fourth floor of the building.
“This is exciting work for us because it gives us the opportunity to turn forgotten and unused space into a much-needed high-tech facility,” said Michael Prifti, Principal of BLTa. “We applaud Drexel University’s Research Department for their resourcefulness and imagination, and are proud to be their partner in overcoming the space challenge many urban universities face. We look forward to assisting Drexel in reintroducing this portion of Curtis Hall to the academic community as the University Research Computing Center.”
Curtis Hall was built in 1928 and is adjacent to Drexel’s historic Main Building on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. The renovation will create one central location for Drexel University’s academic research server facilities, which are currently distributed throughout the campus. BLTa will develop architectural and systems designs to support a scalable and environmentally friendly center. This will include a state-of-the-art climate control system and a new elevator service to enhance building accessibility and access to the new center. The result will be greater efficiency for the University’s high-performance research computing community, while future-proofing the University’s networked research infrastructure.
BLTa is currently celebrating its 50th year of providing expertise in renovation and adaptive reuse for institutions of higher education throughout the United States. Past collaborations have included work for Drexel University, The University of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania State University, Villanova University, and Virginia Tech University. The result of which has been more than 1.6 million square feet of completed higher education projects throughout the past 10 years alone.
Niki Gianakaris, director, Media Relations, Office of University Communications
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