Todd Mason, Halkin Mason Photography

A new student housing community has transformed the blighted site of a shuttered school that stood vacant for many years into a vibrant hub of activity at the edge of Temple University’s campus in North Philadelphia.

Developed by The Goldenberg Group, the 984-bed Vantage touts fully furnished apartment-style residences, 28,570 square feet of amenity space, and 32,331 square feet of retail to meet a broad range of student and community needs. Curated retail, which is visible from campus, includes anchor CVS Pharmacy, Chase Bank, and Five Guys.

Creating organic opportunities for residents to connect with one another and their surroundings was a driving force behind architect Niles Bolton Associates’ design for the 19-story building. Vantage is oriented in a U-shape strategically aligned to ensure the maximum amount of beds have a view of the downtown Philadelphia skyline. A bridge connecting the two residential towers is intentionally lower to not block the views of the developer’s adjacent first phase, The View at Montgomery.

Extensive glass curtain wall facades fill the interiors with natural light, while exposed steel columns add variation to the façade, with each column anchored by a dramatically lit perforated metal panel that transforms the space at night to create usable areas for residents.

The connection theme continues in Vantage’s green spaces. Outdoor seating was created with two purposes—to invite social gatherings and to serve as public art. Various benches are in the shapes of stars, squares, and pods using a precast concrete and polished finish to resemble sculptures. A change in elevation was also a key component to catching someone’s eye and drawing them into the space.

The interior was designed with a hospitality influence, starting with the hotel-style lobby and grand staircase that leads to a two-story community lounge serving as a center for student engagement and connecting the east and west towers.

The amenities, which cater to residents’ academic, social, and fitness needs, feature a 5,000-square-foot study center with dedicated areas for private and group work, an expansive indoor and outdoor fitness center, and a sky lounge with 270-degree views. For parents’ and students’ peace of mind, the building uses an electronic controlled access system, and concierge and security services are available 24 hours a day. Units, which range from studio to four-bedroom single-occupancy units to double-occupancy two-bedroom options, feature 55-inch Roku TVs paired with Xfinity 10 GigE Select WiFi and a box-less IPTV solution for streaming.