2016 MFE AwardsStudent Housing, MeritThe Summit at University CityAmerican Campus Communities
CPP Photographer Images by Johnny Stevens, LLC The Summit at University City

Project Details

Location: Philadelphia
Developer: American Campus Communities
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Builder: Hunter Roberts Construction Group
Opened: September 2015
Number of units: 350
Unit mix: Two-bedroom suites and one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments
Rents: $1,719 to $4,856

When it came time to construct a residential project at Drexel University in downtown Philadelphia to encourage students to live on campus, developer American Campus Communities knew it needed a strong enticement.

A hip design was critical, and the architects at Solomon Cordwell Buenz in Chicago delivered, with a striking, 24-story building. The high-rise sports a mix of heights; a façade of precast panels, window-wall glass, and brick; and retail space at the street level. To make life within the building equally appealing, the team provided large, open, colorful spaces in the form of a theater, a fitness center, a landscaped courtyard, a second-floor terrace, a glass-enclosed dining hub, and a top-level recreation lounge with ping pong, air hockey, and foosball tables.

For studying, private rooms abound. And because students like choices when it comes to their living arrangements and rents, options include two- and four-bedroom suites and apartments.

Living sustainably is yet another criterion this demographic cares about, so the building was constructed to LEED Silver standards, with a green roof, plenty of natural daylight through floor-to-ceiling windows, solar shades, and stormwater planters that reduce runoff.