Versa-Brix 3D- The Critical Component for Architectural Success

The Study at University City is an award-winning, 150,000 square foot, 10-story luxury hotel at the intersection of Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania in the heart of Philadelphia. The precast building, designed by DIGSAU, features a three-dimensional flemish brick bond pattern created with Versa-Brix® 3D custom formliners from Architectural Polymers. "The ability to generate a unique, three-dimensional brick bond allowed the precast wall assembly to take on a crafted, hand-made quality that greatly contributes to the building's presence and character," says Jeff Goldstein, principal at DIGSAU.



The goal for the design was to create a "sophisticated urban hotel that calls attention to itself with a strong connection to the street" said Paul McGowan of Hospitality 3, the owner of the Study Hotels. The combined effect of the three-dimensional brick pattern and the metallic accents of the ironspot thin brick create an animated façade as lighting and perspective changes.


At the onset of the project, DIGSAU was challenged by a tight jobsite in a busy urban environment and significant time constraints. Precast concrete with thin brick emerged to provide a cost-effective, time-efficient and lightweight solution to accommodate the unique structural design. The precaster, Universal Concrete, used six custom oversized formliners to create the 500+ precast concrete panels for the structure.

The Study received a 2018 PCI Design Award for the Best Hotel/Motel Building as well as the prestigious Architectural Excellence Design Honor Award in the built category.

Versa-Brix® 3D is a patented multi-use system designed by Architectural Polymers to transform the typical 2-dimensional design of brick into a three-dimensional work of art for building façades, accents, art and antique effects. US Patent #7,871,054

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