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* CELEBRATING OUR 41th YEAR! * www,junto.blogspot.com * Richard Carreño, Editor * PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com * 1.215.966.9213 *

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Best New Building: The Winner Is ....

Form Life at Drexel

Junto Photos:Richard Carreno

The Junto Prize goes to Drexel's new still-un-named high-rise Residence Hall, which will be soon completed on 34th Street, between Race Street and Powelton Avenue. It's clean lines, neatly 'twisted' viewpoint, and height give the university and its Powelton neighbourhood a sharper-edged image that both badly need. The building's fast-forward look is in sharp contrast to the big box, red-brick structures that surround Penn, despite that university's immensely larger building budget.

Of the half dozen or so skyscrapers that have joined Philly's skyline in the past five years or so, most are nondescript, a charateristic of Philly-phobic architecture, notable for its fear of post modern -- and anything that isn't faced with this city's vernacular red brick. Recent examples of ugh! are the Comcast building ('I-Pod in the Sky'), No 10 Rittenhouse Square, and Symphony House. The exception, in this period, are the diamond-chiseled Cira Centre, another West Philly landmark like Drexel's new dorm, and the sleek, convex-sided Murano.
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