Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Innovation Drexel

While Drexel's Innovation Neighborhood plans are largely conceptual, the renderings are nevertheless mind blowing. The ambitious collection of designs and strategies remind me a lot of Portland's South Waterfront neighborhood, not just architecturally, but in the fact that the ideas don't stop at isolated towers and infill, but attempt to terraform an entirely new neighborhood.

Unlike Portland's South Waterfront, however, the neighborhood Drexel is conceptually terraforming isn't vacant land, and any attempt to move forward with a number of these projects is likely to come at the resistance of a West Philadelphia neighborhood that includes more than those affiliated with the university and new Philadelphians.

Take a look at just one of the many renderings Drexel has been floating around. So redesigned is the neighborhood, it's one of the few renderings I could even place on a map, mainly because a lone Furness building is the only existing structure that seems to remain.

In a city with less red tape and history, this might be seen as an imminent plan. But such drastic change in Philadelphia might take a little longer. Still, it's fascinating to imagine a "downtown University City" that rivals our own Center City, and looks an awful lot like Vancouver, BC.

1 comment:

  1. Keep in mind, though, that the area east of campus is an old industrial area and a bunch of train yards. It isn't until you get west of the yards that the neighborhoods set in.