The 2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge | $5,000 First Prize
This international urban design competition for university students is now open for registration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Philadelphia's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Center / Architecture + Design seeks creative concepts for what a new 'Parkway' could be in a dense and developed 21st-century city, connecting neighborhoods with nearby natural and cultural resources.
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) are hosting a design competition to create an “Image Maker” landscape at the Airport. The competition is an opportunity to demonstrate Philadelphia’s position as America’s Garden Capital and create a welcoming image for the Greater Philadelphia region.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has broken ground on the Core Project, a $196 million transformation of its main building led by Frank Gehry. In total, the renovation will add a total of 90,000 square feet to the museum, including 67,000 square feet of new public space, 11,500 square feet of gallery space for the museum’s American Art collection, and another 11,500 square feet of contemporary art display space.
As suggested by its name, The Core Project will focus on the heart of the museum; the main circulation of the building will be completely reorganized and museum infrastructure will receive much-needed upgrades, improving access to the community and enhancing the visitor experience.
New renderings and information have been revealed for SHoP and West 8’s Schuylkill Yards masterplan envisioned for University City in Philadelphia. Announced last March, the project comprises 14 new buildings on a 14-acre site off the Schuylkill River and around 30th Street Station, the country’s third busiest Amtrak station.
A Chicago-based artist and community developer, Gates is the founder of the Rebuild Foundation, which focuses on improving the quality of urban life by planning and designing active and engaged communities. “Under Gates’ leadership, the Rebuild Foundation currently manages projects in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood of Chicago. Program sites include the Stony Island Arts Bank, the Black Cinema House, the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, Archive House, and Listening House.”
BIG has completed their second building on U.S. soil, a 92,000-square-foot office building at 1200 Intrepid Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that also marks the firm’s first realized office building design. Located within the revitalized Philadelphia Navy Yard master plan (designed by Robert Stern), the four-story building features a bowing, double-curved facade and a supersized “periscope” inspired by the historic battleships docked a few blocks away.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has released plans for a new mixed-use urban district for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Precinct. In response to projections showing significant increases in transit activity in the coming decades, the project calls for a transformation of the existing Beaux Arts train station and surrounding neighborhood of University City. The design will improve transportation throughout the city, and will activate the area with new shops, restaurants and public plazas.
Currently on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, Award-winning African architect Diébédo Francis Kéré has created Colorscape, a installation made from steel and brightly-colored fiber, to accompany his first solo show in the United States. The exhibition is titled The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building with Community, and features of a retrospective of the architect’s career that includes material artifacts, tools and scale-models created for stand-out projects in both Africa and Europe.
Temple University’s new library designed by Snøhetta, in collaboration with Stantec, is now under construction after a groundbreaking ceremony in April. The 21,000 square meter (225,000 square foot) building is adjacent to what will become a future campus quadrangle that is currently occupied by other buildings slated for demolition. The library sits at the intersection of two major pedestrian pathways, Polett Walk and Liacouras Walk, attesting to the University’s hope that the facility will be a new social and academic heart for 37,800 students.
Speaking on the subject of Louis Kahn, who died the same year Ingels was born, in 1974, he remarked, “I wouldn't say that my work is linear of Louis' but I think that he rediscovered symbolism and designed super-functional architecture that's been lost and has been re-created by pragmatism." This fits into Ingels' own views on his practice, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which he described as “pragmatic utopianism,” asserting a belief that architecture is “the art and science of turning fiction into fact.”