Monthly Archives: May 2013

DAC Expansion

3500 seats

Friday Architects/Planners was retained by Drexel Design, Planning & Construction (DPC) to study the feasibility of expanding and upgrading the Daskalaskis Athletic Center (DAC) at 33rd and Market Streets in Philadelphia. The goal  was to improve the facilities for the Drexel Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs.  Using an initial program of spaces, Friday examined three seating configuration options to confirm that 3000 seats could be accommodated within the volume of the existing building plus a small addition.

Rotation of the existing center court and removal of selected structural members allow the design to take advantage of the length of the building for deeper seating areas and, more importantly, to extend seating higher into the full volume of the arched roof space by eliminating sightline obstructions.  These new north and south seating areas will be almost entirely collapsible, enabling adaptation for special events requiring a large, open floor area. The north end will include 670 chairback seats and the south end will seat 1400 students and visitors on bleachers.

The addition provides a new public concourse and concessions to the north of the court and locates new public toilet rooms to the east and west, directly accessible from the arena floor.  The second level of the new addition includes the private suites and team offices.  The third level is an upper concourse with 920 bleacher seats, toilets and concession areas.  The existing suite level within the DAC becomes circulation area for access to the new south end bleachers.

Simons Rec


Anthony Bracali ARCHitecture was awarded the commission for improvements to the City of Philadelphia’s third largest recreation center in 2005.  This project was transitioned to Friday Architects/Planners, Inc following our June 2007 merger.

The project includes improvements and upgrades around the entire property.  The scope includes a new concession building, new storage additions, ice rink roof replacement, field improvements and interior lighting and flooring upgrades.

Our design for the new buildings uses the palette of basic geometric forms and bold colors employed by the existing recreation center.  The new concession and field storage buildings are sited to provide a “gateway” entrance to the athletic fields.

Tullio Arena Expansion


In January 2010, Friday began work as part of Friday/Sink Combs Dethlefs Joint Venture Architects to design the expansion and renovations to Tullio Arena and create a major, public outdoor plaza in downtown Erie, PA.  The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League call the 5,600 seat building home. The arena is the centerpiece of a sports and entertainment district managed by the Erie County Convention Center Authority (ECCCA) that includes the Warner Theater, Bayfront Convention Center and Jerry Uht Ballpark. Tullio Arena shares a compact downtown block with the Ballpark, which is home to the Minor League Erie Seawolves of the Double A Eastern League.

The program currently includes the expansion of arena seating capacity and the addition of club boxes and suites.  The upgraded interior will be served by a new entrance concourse and new supporting amenities for the various teams that share the arena.  A unifying feature of the multi-sport district will be a new public plaza linking the arena, the ballpark and the Warner Theater.

Pan Am Bid


Friday was commissioned to develop a design for a large-mixed use sports and community recreation complex for a large municipality in Canada.  The design supports a bid for as major, international sports tournament.

The complex includes a stadium which can be converted from baseball to cricket.  The stadium suites double as meeting rooms and are located in a hotel complex built directly adjacent to the seating bowl.  In this manner, the infrastructure to support the hotel and seating bowl are shared and costs are reduced.  The client is currently working to secure the tournament.

Kline & Specter Squash Center

imgDAC SC1

Drexel University wanted to grow their Varsity Squash Team. Unfortunately, their facilities were holding them back. Friday Architects and Planners was retained to completely renovate and upgrade the existing 7-court squash center in the
Daskalakis Athletic Center.

The original squash center, built in the early 1970s, was dark, lifeless and did not conform to international standards that are dictated by the World Squash Federation. We investigated new opportunities for viewing and public circulation around and above the playing courts.

We also leveraged the existing conditions by exposing the beautifully muscular concrete coffered ceiling and specifying pretty but low maintenance materials throughout.

Independent Baseball


Friday has working with an Independent League ownership group to develop concepts for a mixed use development including “micro ballpark.”  The project includes a ballpark with 1,500 fixed seats, an adjacent hotel with meeting rooms that double as suites, a parking garage and a retail component.  The ballpark features a seating berm that can accommodate an additional 1,000 guests, elevated concourse as well as a large kids play area.

Greater Plymouth Fitness Center

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Friday was engaged by the Plymouth Township Recreation Commission to conduct an extensive facility expansion study.  The existing building was a heavily used recreation and community center, which includes a large gymnasium, indoor pool fitness center and community meeting rooms.  Working with their operations consultant, our office organized an initial “goals and challenges” meeting and from that developed a detailed program analysis of existing spaces and future needs.

With this information determined, Friday prepared two conceptual plans for expansion and renovation of the building.  Our structural and MEP consultant performed site visits to familiarize themselves with existing systems that would impact new work.  Our design options were accompanied by cost estimates.  This information was presented in a dynamic format using 3D computer models of the components of each scheme.  This went a long way towards helping our client understand the complexities of each design.

The Caring Center


The ISI Caring Center lost its home and sponsor unexpectedly and their long established child care program was in jeopardy.  Committed to saving the program that helped nurture their children, the parents formed a non-profit corporation to carry on what had become a tradition of excellent child care.  Friday was selected as its architect in January, 1991.  Our first task was to help evaluate alternative sites.  A prominent .38 acre site in West Philadelphia was acquired in March of ‘91, a fast-track construction contract awarded, and design begun to complete the 165 child facility by the end of the year.  Fittingly, it was nine months from conception to birth.

Features of the 14,000 sf, two-story building include program space for infants through pre-schoolers, a full service kitchen, elevator, two-story skylit lobby, large play/meeting room with a spectacular view of the Art Museum and the Center City skyline, and a playful building envelope that signals the presence and underlying intent of the Center.

Friends School Mullica Hill


Friday was commissioned by Friends School Mullica Hill to design a new lower school classroom building.  A compressed schedule and a tight budget demanded the institution of a regimen of weekly meetings throughout that summer.  This routine fit well with Friday’s methodology which is centered around an intense, interactive group process during the all-important programming and early design phases.  Conceptual Design was successfully completed by early August and Schematic Design by mid-September.  This process proved so satisfying that the Building Committee and Friday chose to continue the weekly meetings into the Fall to review progress on design and construction documentation and to prepare for zoning and other governmental reviews.

The construction was implemented under an open book, Gross Maximum Price (GMP) contracting method enabling FSMH to realize significant savings.

In 25,000sf and on three levels, the building houses 8 general purpose classrooms, 2 science classrooms, the campus library, music education and practice facilities, and administrative and faculty spaces.  It was designed and detailed in sympathy with the rural, agrarian aesthetic of its south Jersey site.

Franklin Towne Charter School

Corner view

FTCES acquired a property along Richmond Street in the Bridesburg neighborhood in Philadelphia, the home of a now abandoned supermarket and retail strip. The site is perfectly positioned in the neighborhood for this new 105,000 sq ft elementary school.

Working closely with the school leadership and their financial and construction advisors, Friday finalized the space and functional program and developed three different conceptual designs for the site, each illustrating varying approaches and options to meet the building and site programmatic requirements. Together, the team analyzed the pros and cons of each option and determined the design direction to proceed.

Through careful selection of materials and systems which balance quality, functionality and cost efficiency, Friday, together with the school’s financial and construction advisors, has strived to optimize the construction budget.

This project was designed and documented using BIM
technology which allowed our team to quickly gain access
to accurate square foot estimates and area allocations of various materials. The school opened in September 2011.