Category Archives: Education

Haverford College

Aerial View of Campus Center

Friday has been selected to work with Haverford College on two projects. The first is a greenhouse and classroom building for the Environmental Studies program. Friday is exploring designs that reuse salvaged construction materials from other campus projects. The second project is the creation of an outdoor student lounge space just outside the Haverford Dining Hall. More to come on both these as they develop

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.

Dickey Hall

End Bay

Commissioned by the Department of General Services and Lincoln University, one of the nation’s first African-American universities, John Miller Dickey Hall is a 60,800sf, three story building housing Lincoln’s Social Science division and departments of mathematics and computer sciences.

By taking advantage of the sloping site, entrances on two levels were developed — one from the dormitory and student activity portion of the campus and the other providing direct access from other academic buildings.  Parking for 123 cars is located to minimize visual impact and integrate with the University’s master plan.  The building contains a 200-seat lecture hall, computer-equipped classrooms and tutorials, traditional classrooms, departmental and faculty offices, and computer and media centers.

Friday’s design of the facade employs African graphic motifs that emerge out of traditional collegiate gothic imagery, symbolizing the richness of Lincoln’s African-American history.  Indeed, as part of their approval, the State Art Commission stated, “The Commission commends your imaginative design and awareness of scale in so large a building on the campus.”

John Miller Dickey Hall received an Award for Design Excellence in 1991 from the Philadelphia Chapter AIA.

Delaware Valley Friends School


Delaware Valley Friends School – located in rental space on the Harcum College Campus – purchased the former Paoli Elementary School.  Friday was selected in December to begin the master planning and design.  The following August was targeted as the move-in date, necessitating a fast track development process.

The structure is comprised of two buildings:  One built in the 1920’s, and one in the ‘50’s.  Combined, the buildings contained 52,000 sf, were asbestos laden, and required a total overhaul of mechanical and electrical systems.

Features of the new design include:  Uniquely configured classrooms that reflect the small class size and hands-on teaching for which DVFS is known; computer network connections throughout the building and furniture that responds to the needs for power and network characteristic of DVFS’ teaching methodology; a large auditorium redesigned to reflect the school’s need for a space for Meeting and rental needs for larger group assembly; fully equipped Art and Science Rooms; an independent, 70 child daycare center; plans for future expansion of the existing gymnasium.

The design challenge for Friday was to imbue the time-worn and dreary buildings with warmth and spirit.  The need for speed only increased this challenge.  A superb client and contractor made the achievement possible.

Friday later completed a Media Center to great acclaim.  A new lunchroom has also been completed, as well as a comprehensive, long range master plan for the campus.

Temple Brith Achim


Originally built in the 1980s, Temple Brith Achim was renovated about ten years later in a way that made new additions difficult. The congregation had grown over the years and felt the need to broaden the synagogue’s educational programming and to make provisions for a larger sanctuary.

Some of the major goals for the project were the creation of a Life Long Learning Center consisting of 8 classrooms, administrative offices, storage and toilet rooms, the expansion and rejuvenation of the lobby which had lost focus as a result of the previous addition.  Friday also planned to reactivate the former main entrance which had become largely obsolete over the years and to present a new, fresh face to the public.

Some other goals were to remediate the major site drainage problems that have existed since the previous construction and to upgrade accessibility.

The project was completed in October 2008.

Green Tree School


The Green Tree School serves three distinct groups of students: school-age students with serious emotional disturbances, children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders and preschoolers with developmental delays.  In operation since 1957, Green Tree School is the oldest school of this kind in Philadelphia.

With the recent, and ongoing, explosion in the incidence of Autism, Green Tree School’s successful programs came into great demand and its facility soon became taxed beyond its limit.  Friday was commissioned in 2004 to plan and design the adaptive reuse of three linked but very different structures on the school’s Germantown campus:  A Victorian era residence built as servants’ quarters and converted to school use, a carriage house and stable that was largely unused, and a one story, single room structure linking the other two and serving the school as its lunchroom/auditorium.

A very tricky situation: The floors did not align across the three buildings, their architectural styles could not have been more incompatible, and the program called for expansion space requiring a full two-storey link extending forward from the two existing flanking structures and remaining below their respective cornice lines which, in the case of the stable, was just barely high enough to squeeze two floors of classrooms.  And, of course, as is the situation with many non-profits, Green Tree School’s budget was stretched to its limit.

The new facility, consisting of 4 early intervention and 4 school-age classrooms, a full service teaching kitchen, multi-purpose room, special function and treatment rooms and other support facilities, opened to great acclaim and success in August, 2006, on time and slightly under budget.

Drexel Armory Re-Use Study


Friday completed a feasibility study exploring possibilities to renovate the historic Armory building located on Drexel’s Main Campus to increase its usable recreation spaces. After the highly successful and frequently used renovation of the existing Recreation Center in 2010 Drexel has acknowledged the need for even more space to accommodate its active students’ needs. The Armory, located just across 33rd Street, provided not only the perfect location, but a large amount of existing space that is currently unused at its perimeter.

In this study, Friday has explored ways to maximize student activity space within the Armory, including accommodating the University’s rapidly expanding dance program while maintaining the integrity of the existing architecture. Shifting the existing tennis and basketball courts towards the rear of the building made way for large academic dance studios adjacent to the entrance that will be visible to passersby on 33rd Street. A grand entrance stair provides direct access to the extended mezzanine level which maximizes square footage and provides ample student space for both lounge and recreation.

Design of this project will also include the division of work into several phases. This allows for a smaller initial renovation that can increase the usable activity space and visually engage the campus while allowing for future development as Drexel’s need for recreation space continues to increase.

String Theory Charter School

Dance Studio

Friday Architects worked with String Theory Schools to develop renovations to an existing 230,000 former office building into a new Performing Arts High School.  We prepared bidding drawings for an initial phase of work to accommodate 400 students in just six weeks.  Our design cut new stairs down through the entire building and provided a new “public” stair in the lobby.  The completed project houses classrooms, science labs, dance studios, music studios, offices, cafeterias, a media center and a 200 seat studio theater.