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Architects Chosen For New Westphal Buildings

September 20, 2009

The noted national architectural and interior design firm Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. (MS&R) has been chosen to design the renovations of 3501 Market Street and 3401 Filbert Street, the two buildings acquired this past December as the future home for many of the Westphal College's academic programs. MS&R is an award winning design firm, now in its 28th year of practice, whose design work includes the University of Minnesota's Regis Center for Art, Minneapolis' Mill City Museum, the Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus at Philadelphia's Navy Yard, SEI Investments Corporate Headquarters in Oaks, PA, the Herman Miller Design Yard, and the Saint Paul Central and Sahara West Libraries. MS&R is currently working on the Arts Union for Carleton College.

MS&R principals Jeffrey Scherer, FAIA, who leads the firm's workspace and library design practice; Garth Rockcastle, FAIA, who leads the firm's Maryland office and also serves as the Dean of the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Traci Engel Lesneski, CID, are heading up MS&R's design team that has been spending time at Drexel auditing the recently acquired buildings and meeting with Westphal programs to learn of our facilities' needs.

3501 Market Street is a four story, 130,000 sq. ft. structure that was designed by iconic Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi in the mid-1970s and features a notable tiled mosaic Market Street façade. 3401 Filbert Street is a 13,000 sq. ft. structure and both properties are sited on over 3 acres of land immediately adjoining the Drexel campus to the west on Market Street, acquisitions which represent an increase in our University City campus of over 3%. The buildings were acquired through the generous support of an anonymous donor.

MS&R has been charged with turning these two existing office buildings into light filled studios, exhibition and performance spaces that will foster student and faculty collaborations across the College's varied disciplines. We envision Fashion Design, Architecture and Interiors, Graphic Design, Design & Merchandising, Digital Media and Product Design, as well as a new gallery for the exhibition of art, a new home for the Drexel Costume Collection, a black box theater, and the college's administrative offices moving to their new quarters in the not too distant future.