Luxury student living designed for wellness

OVERBROOK - April 21, 2014

The outside of the building at 63rd and Overbrook is pure history, having been designed by famed architect Horace Trumbauer in the early 1900s.

Inside the 'Legacy at Drexel Arms' is definitely 21st century.

Beyond the hardwood floors and stainless steel, 28 rooms have more than a dozen features intended to help keep residents well.

The air passes through a 6-stage filter, all of the water is filtered, and in the bathrooms the shower is also infused with Vitamin C.

Dana Pillai of Delos Wellness Real Estate explains, "One of the things we'd like to do is eliminate chlorine easily, and this is an elegant solution."

Pillai is director of product development. He says the biggest emphasis is on lighting.

"Typically lighting is static, so it meets one need and performs poorly on others," he said.

However, here different lights have different purposes. In the bathroom light in the blue spectrum wakes you up, whether it's morning - or time to study.

Pillai says, "This tells your body that we are now in bright daylight, and you need to be at your maximum alertness."

Bedrooms have blackout shades to encourage deeper, more restful sleep. And instead of buzzing, the alarm clocks gradually brighten, to simulate a sunrise.

In the lounge and fitness area, common surfaces have an anti-germ coating.

Despite an extra $125 a month for these and other perks, all of the wellness units are taken for the fall semester.

As for the science behind all of this, there aren't any controlled studies showing whether these features translate to better health. But the interest is high enough that the same company is developing two other "wellness" projects in the region - one at 1616 Walnut Street and the other at the former Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Montgomery County.

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