Over at Hidden City, Nathaniel Popkin and Bradley Maule have posted an exclusive first look at Temple’s new residence complex, Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Hall, which opens on Monday. Popkin, who filled in for Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron while she was in Boston on fellowship, gives the building an extremely favorable first review of the MGA Partners-designed complex:
But a great building, of course, does much more than meet the private needs of the owner. It performs multiple, intricate functions all at once. It endures and grows in our imaginations; it fixes itself as a kind of landmark on the urban landscape. It contributes to wider societal goods and goals. Morgan Hall is indeed such a building.
Aside from the many strengths Popkin enumerates regarding the building’s exterior and interior design, he particularly admires the way that Philadelphia–in its entirety–is a part of the resident experience:
The city is in fact everywhere: glimpse the corner of Broad and Cecil B. Moore in the stairwell of the retail building; note the forest of West Philadelphia as you pass by the two-story, fully-glassed common social spaces that cap the end of each hallway; catch the city panorama from the top floor banquet rooms, the Betsy Ross and the Commodore Barry bridges in one view.
This seems like the boldest shift away from Temple’s traditionally parochial approach to campus life and one that’s intuitive for an urban campus. The views, as can be seen in Maule’s photos, are stunning.
The project cost $216 million and will serve as a residence for some 1,275 students, according to Hidden City. Landscape design was handled by OLIN.
• With Morgan Hall, Temple Ushers in New Era [Hidden City]