About Strada

Strada means “street” in Italian. Streets matter to us. They’re the fundamental infrastructure of our cities and the core of our civic lives. They’re the connections between buildings, people, and public spaces. This is why we’re so inspired by them and it’s a shared commitment to these values that brought our principals together. Just as people mingle on city streets, our office is a place where we freely exchange ideas, challenging and inspiring one another to create exceptional work.

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Why Community Engagement is vital to designing cities of the future

09.2019

It is impossible to build a meaningful place for people based solely on expertise in a specific project typology or based on current trends.

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325 Chestnut Street
Suite 909
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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A new home for the Senior School Science Department

About this project

This two-story, 22,000-square-foot instruction facility is nestled within the pastoral hills of its senior school’s historic 130-acre campus. In keeping with the campus’ Colonial Revival architectural aesthetic, a brick and glass façade complements the building’s context while simultaneously reinforcing its identity as a place of innovation. The u-shaped form comprised of three conjoined bar elements helps break down the building’s comparatively bulky footprint on the campus, and creates an outdoor courtyard for informal classes, gatherings, performances, and socializing.

The Center has 10 flexible classroom/lab spaces for physics, biology and chemistry, and larger spaces for research, collaboration, and independent study including a multipurpose room/lounge. The special projects room provides students with supervised access to research. Faculty is particularly excited about the state-of-the-art, college-level lab equipment – gas chromatography machine, nuclear magnetic resonance machine, and -80 lab freezer – which opens up a world of possibilities.

This new facility was designed with the intention of earning LEED Gold certification. Sustainability was a pervasive consideration throughout design and construction. The green design reduces environmental impact and serves as a science and innovation teaching tool. With a rain garden to collect runoff, solar panels as an electric power source, energy-efficient windows, water-saving plumbing, motion-sensitive lighting and more, the building is a living, observable science lesson.

Not many high school labs have this type of equipment. When our kids go on to study science in college, this is the kind of equipment and methodology they'll be using.

– Dr. Joe Martens, Shadyside Academy Science Department Chair