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Open for Business! - Gerri C. LeBow Hall, Drexel University

Niki Ververelli - Thursday, May 08, 2014

Gerri C. LeBow Hall is the new home to the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business at Drexel University. Located in the heart of the campus’ “Innovation Neighborhood”, the building is comprised of a 5-story base featuring a central atrium surrounded by classrooms, common space and a full-service Starbucks. A 6-story faculty office tower brings the overall height of the building to 12 stories, with an area of 177,500 sq. ft. Gerri C. LeBow Hall is Green Globes certifiable and among the Financial Times’ list of Business Schools’ Statement Buildings. DJVI performed as the engineering professional and full design and administration services were provided during planning, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Fire Protection Systems consulting featuring three dedicated outside air systems (DOAS) to provide ventilation air and general exhaust, primary and secondary chilled water system connected to University’s central plant with 280-ton supplemental chiller for winter operation and atrium smoke control and stair pressurization systems – this building is a machine!

You can check out what Inga Saffron, Pulitzer-winning Architecture Critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, had to say about the campus addition here: http://articles.philly.com/2013-11-30/entertainment/44577118_1_drexel-university-west-philadelphia-stern.

Matheson Hall, the academic building that once stood where GHall (that’s what the kids call it these days) stands now, was ready to go. Matheson will be forever special (that’s one word) to me, it was where my first class was held and where I sat during my first tour of campus with Dad enjoying lunch truck delights (when 32nd street was still a street!). Moreover, DJVI did some great work in that building – hello Patten Auditorium! A moment of pride for the firm but a freezing auditorium for all of us who had Marketing 101 within. The phrase “so cold you could hang meat in there” rings a bell. Even so, it was good to see it go, if only so that there would be a building with men’s & women’s restrooms on the same floor.

The building intrinsically touches on elements that are at the heart of Drexel – a triangular atrium, honoring the symbol of the University; a grand staircase giving a modern interpretation of the significance of the staircase in the Great Court of the Main Building all while honoring that the building is an academic hub for the future of Drexel. Welcome (albeit belated, sorry!) to campus GHall – you sure do look good!