Lancaster Avenue Pedestrian Bridge & Pike Garage
Villanova University | Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova’s transformative Lancaster Avenue Student Housing development required two important enabling projects to allow it to come to fruition: a pedestrian bridge across the traffic-heavy avenue and a new 1,289-car parking garage to mitigate the loss of two university-owned surface lots where the new student housing is being built.
The bridge is a physical and symbolic connector for the campus, linking the residences of the south campus and the new development to the main campus on the north side of heavily-trafficked Lancaster Avenue. Planning and approvals for the bridge required a complex years-long process involving multiple agencies, including Radnor Township, Delaware County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA). The structure starts at an existing SEPTA pedestrian overpass and runs for 580 feet on axis with the university’s iconic St. Thomas Church before ending at-grade at a new plaza in front of the church. The use of arched openings, fieldstone, and decorative concrete also form a strong aesthetic connection to rest of the campus.
The new Garage was one of three enabling projects that was completed prior to starting construction on the student housing. Like the Bridge, its materials and form made a visual connection to the campus and reduced the scale of its 300-foot-long facades, while the use of precast construction allowed the work to proceed in an expedited manner. The garage’s naturally ventilated five levels are recessed into the sloped site, minimizing its perceived mass and keeping within local height restrictions.
Completed in association with Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
Size: 330,000 sf (garage) 600 lf (bridge)
Budget: $28 million (garage) $7.4 million (bridge)
Architecture, Planning, Landscape