Philadelphia set to appoint the first-ever Complete Streets Commissioner

City Terrain, East, News, Transportation, Urbanism
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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(karmacamilleeon / Flickr)

(karmacamilleeon / Flickr)

Philadelphia officially recognizes cyclists as a constituency deserving special protection. This week, Mayor Jim Kenney announced the creation of a “Complete Streets Commissioner,” a new position in city government to oversee the creation of more bike-friendly infrastructure. But the story gets complicated from there.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philly’s University City to undergo a ground-up rethink by Ayers Saint Gross, ZGF, and OLIN

ZGF Architects designed a tower programmed for offices, retail, and apartments that look out onto an OLIN–designed public square. (Courtesy ZGF)

ZGF Architects designed a tower programmed for offices, retail, and apartments that look out onto an OLIN–designed public square. (Courtesy ZGF)

In West Philadelphia, a team of developers, planners, and architects are asking one of urbanists’ favorite questions: How can a mega-development be made to feel like a neighborhood, and not a bland corporate campus plopped in the middle of the city? Lead developers Wexford Science + Technology and the University City Science Center are spearheading the from-scratch transformation of a former superblock into a sort of mini city within a city.

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Does Snøhetta’s design for a new library at Temple University spell the end of books?

Architecture, East, News, Newsletter
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
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(Courtesy Snøhetta)

(Courtesy Snøhetta)

Libraries are temples for books, though Snøhetta’s plan for a new library at Temple University in Philadelphia argues that you can have one without the other. The design of the Temple University Library is influenced by the academies of ancient Greece, which privileged social spaces for discourse over the storage and management of written materials.

Continue after the jump.

Here’s Philadelphia’s ambitious plan to build a neighborhood over a railyard on the Schuylkill River

East, News, Urbanism
Monday, December 21, 2015
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SOM is leading the redesign of the area surrounding Philly's 30th Street Station (Courtesy SOM)

SOM is leading the redesign of the area surrounding Philly’s 30th Street Station (Courtesy SOM)

Cap and trade agreements are a standard tool in the climate change fight. Philadelphia, in collaboration with an urban design team led by SOM, is getting in on the game. Read More

Construction on Philly’s 40th Street Trolley Portal by Andropogon finally moves ahead

Rendering of 40th Street Trolley Terminal (Courtesy andropogon)

Rendering of 40th Street Trolley Terminal (Courtesy Andropogon Associates)

Plans are finally underway to remake Philadelphia’s 40th Street Trolley Portal. In conjunction with the city, nonprofit University City District (UDC) will transform the boring, character-free concrete SEPTA trolley terminal, adjacent to the University of Pennsylvania, into a social space for one of Philly’s most vibrant areas.  Read More

Pelli Clarke Pelli designs bright and curvy addition to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Architecture, East, News
Thursday, November 19, 2015
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Pelli Clarke Architects' Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Courtesy PCP Architects)

Pelli Clarke Architects’ Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Courtesy PCP Architects)

Designers and doctors know instinctively what science now confirms: design that connects people to light, air, and green space reduces stress and facilitates the healing process. Putting research into action, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s tapped New York’s Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects to design the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care at the hospital’s main campus in West Philadelphia. Houston-based FKP Architects is the architect of record. Read More

Philadelphia is the United States’ first World Heritage City

East, News, Urbanism
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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Independence Hall, built in 1753, was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress, and the site of the Constitutional Convention. The structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the central building in Independence National Historic Park (Wikimedia Commons)

Independence Hall, built in 1753, was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress, and the site of the Constitutional Convention. The structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the central building in Independence National Historic Park (Wikimedia Commons)

What do Safranbolu, Turkey; Gyeongju, Korea; Cidade Velha, Cape Verde; and Philadelphia, PA, have in common? They are all World Heritage Cities. On November 6, the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) honored Philadelphia with a World Heritage City designation. Philadelphia is the first United States city to be recognized by the OWHC.

More after the jump.

KieranTimberlake demonstrates best practices for a prototypical new commercial building

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Building 7R's brick screen and translucent glazing panels (image courtesy Michael Moran/OTTO)

Building 7R’s brick screen and translucent glazing panels (image courtesy Michael Moran/OTTO)

The facility will serve students, building operators, building energy auditors, and will be used to support the development of new business ventures in energy efficiency.

The Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI)—formerly the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub—at Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, is a research initiative funded by the Department of Energy and led by Penn State University that seeks to reduce the energy usage of commercial buildings to 50% by 2020. KieranTimberlake, a Philadelphia-based firm located three miles from Navy Yard, was selected by Penn State to renovate a 1940’s Georgian-style brick building to be a living laboratory for advanced energy retrofit technology. Included in the brief was an addition to the building, which evolved into a new stand-alone building across the street on Lot 7R, which aptly became the name of the building.
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Bartram’s Mile greenway by andropogon one step closer to connecting Philly to its riverfront

(Courtesy andropogon)

(Courtesy andropogon)

Philadelphia’s landscape architecture firm andropogon is redesigning a one mile segment of publicly owned, underused riverbank along the Schuylkill between Grays Ferry Avenue and 58th Street. Industrial development and highway construction has separated residents from the western bank of the riverfront for decades. Andropogon’s design goals for Bartram’s Mile include integrating the site with existing trails and bike infrastructure, managing stormwater, connecting the riverbank to its urban surroundings, and a design that highlights Bartram’s Garden, the oldest botanic garden in the United States.

Continue after the jump.

Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project helps low-income residents weatherize their homes

Philadelphia's Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance. (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

For many homeowners and landlords, big ticket repairs can leave gaping holes in the budget. For many low income homeowners, mending a leaky roof or weatherizing an older home can be prohibitively expensive. Vital repairs go unmade, damaging the structure and exposing residents to mold and weather extremes. Responding to this challenge, the Design Advocacy Group, a coalition of planners, architects, and activists, founded the Healthy Rowhouse Project (HRP) in 2014.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philadelphia’s Bergmann Associates reveal plans for Grays Ferry Triangle pedestrian plaza on South Street

Proposed design for Grays Ferry Plaza (Courtesy Bergmann Associates)

Proposed design for Grays Ferry Plaza. (Courtesy Bergmann Associates)

Philadelphia’s South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) Grays Ferry Avenue Triangles Committee is making moves on a new plaza at 23rd Street at South Street. This plaza follows the well-trod path of its predecessors, touting amenities like seating and trees, as well as building South Philly’s neighborhood identity and civic pride.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philadelphia welcomes Pope Francis with a knotty art installation

Art, East
Friday, September 25, 2015
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(Courtesy @faitphillyours Twitter)

(Faith Philly / Twitter)

A local Philadelphia artist has been commissioned to re-interpret a Baroque painting of the Virgin Mary, commonly known as “Mary The Untier Of Knots.” The piece that was originally painted by Georg Melchior Schmidtner in the 1700s is apparently among Pope Francis’ favorite works of art.

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