If local high school students had it their way, the Comcast Tower II would have more greenspace, conveyer bridges, and yes, a Dave & Buster's.
As part of last year's Architecture Construction Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program, 19 students from G.W. Carver High School of Engineering & Science re-imagined the Comcast Innovation and Technology Center, which is currently under construction and poised to be the tallest building in the city.
"It was a schematic effort to re-imagine the Comcast Tower II project," Christina Marconi of KSS Architects told Curbed Philly. "We proposed it to the students to start with blank slate, and we walked them through a bunch of different things to expose them to a variety of trades."
Over the course of the year, the students learned about schematic design, programming, site analysis, and cost implications of the Comcast Tower. Their final conceptual design featured a 60-story tower—the actual building will be 59 stories— with a mix of commercial, office, and residential space with schisms in the center of the building.
"The schism came from the idea that this is a really important site within the city. So given the urban nature and hustle and bustle of everything, it'd be convenient to walk diagonally across the site instead of walking around the entire perimeter of the building," Marconi explains.
We're not sure what Norman Foster would think of the redesign, but the project has earned some national recognition. It was one of six finalists in the "Most Innovative Hands-On Project" category in the 2015 US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards.