Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

“There is hardly a college today that isn’t rushing to build its own version of Papadakis.”

Inga Saffron, Architecture Critic, Philadelphia Inquirer

The Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building fosters strong connections to Drexel’s campus, and within the research community. The University challenged our design team to develop a design that redefined Drexel’s traditional approach to science buildings which previously were closed, introspective and formal. Open and accessible, the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building invites a fuller engagement with the university experience.

Our design establishes an enriched and durable material palette in the University precinct, with Indiana limestone, low-iron glazing, fritted glass sunshades and extruded aluminum paneling. The building form responds to and reinforces the diagonal geometry of the historic Woodlawn Walk, creating public landscaped open space along the west façade. A grade level café and outdoor terrace invites community use and animates the pedestrian precinct shared by the site.­­

The academic program, organized around a central atrium and activated by a four-story spiral staircase, provides open, transparent and convenient connection between disciplines, faculty and students. Balconies and lounges at each level afford opportunities for collegial collaboration and social interaction. High transparency glazing engages the wider community in the life of the building, showcasing the interdisciplinary use of shared spaces and the dynamic mosaic of campus life within.

Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Client Drexel University
Completion 05/09/2011
Sustainability Green Globes, LEED Gold Certified


In Association with H2L2 Architects
Photography Tom Aban and Halkin Architectural Photography


Awards See all project awards
2013 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – Interior Green Wall Award of Excellence
2013 March of Dimes Building Awards – Philadelphia Project of the Year
2012 Plantscape Industry Alliance Association – Judges Award
2012 Glass Magazine Awards – Most Innovative Glass Project
Team See full project team