The Drexel campus straddles both sides of Market Street in Philadelphia’s University City section. Sasaki's addition to the Daskalasis Athletic Center (DAC), a 1960s-era athletic complex, accomplishes several institutional and programmatic goals. It increases the university’s visual presence along Market Street, integrates existing and new buildings into a unified complex, and groups all of the recreation facilities into a new building wing. Respecting that the DAC is surrounded by one of Drexel’s few outdoor landscape spaces, the design also maximizes preservation of the site’s open space. The new building wraps around two sides of the DAC building, providing a new urban presence along Market Street. The main façade is treated as a large glazed screen with meandering folds shaded by the extension of the building’s floors. The folded enclosure provides alcoves along the exercise areas, where active users and equipment add a sense of color and movement to the streetscape. The glazed skin is also the result of extensive energy studies. The design is expected to reduce cooling loads by 50% on the south façade and 30% on the east. The building addition incorporates a major pedestrian artery, creating a walkway through the building linking two key areas of the campus. This newly created passageway renders existing and new programs as a focal point for students, visitors, faculty and staff crossing the campus at this location.
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