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.