A 2.6 acre plaza will double as the ceiling for five levels of underground parking at the Buerger Center for Pediatric Care now under construction at the site of the former Convention Hall on the South Campus of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) in University City, on Civic Center Boulevard just south of the hospital’s main building.
The 12-story, 700K sqft LEED building will mark the second project in University City, after the Cira Centre, designed by architect Cesar Pelli. Last fall, we wondered whether it was Pelli’s vision responsible for the renderings we shared of a multi-colored, curved building. A $50M gift for the facility was announced in late June, and marked the largest charitable donation ever received by CHOP. The center will feature integrated clinical care facilities and amenities for patients, families, and visitors. At its projected opening in 2015, it will be the most advanced outpatient pediatric medical facility in the world, designed for the ideal patient experience. It will also feature fancy electronics that somehow keep patients’ appointments up to date and on time. Interestingly, the building will also allow for the potential addition of another four floors for a total of 875K sqft, if called for in the future.
In the future
From another angle
There’s a lot that can be said about the demolition of old attractive buildings to make way for the new. But any time a project with a $100M capital campaign is realized, it is sign of economic strength. Though we wish that the Civic Center buildings could have been preserved, this new structure will help thousands, perhaps millions of kids in the coming years. For us, this makes the loss of Convention Hall a little easier to accept.