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Philadelphia: The Latest Architecture and News

4 Projects That Show Mass Timber is the Future of American Cities

As architects face up to the need for ethical, sustainable design in the age of climate change awareness, timber architecture is making a comeback in a new, technologically impressive way. Largely overlooked in the age of Modernism, recent years have seen a plethora of advancements related to mass timber across the world. This year alone, Japan announced plans for a supertall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo by 2041, while the European continent has seen plans for the world’s largest timber building in the Netherlands, and the world’s tallest timber tower in Norway.

The potential for mass timber to become the dominant material of future sustainable cities has also gained traction in the United States throughout 2018. Evolving codes and the increasing availability of mass timber is inspiring firms, universities, and state legislators to research and invest in ambitious projects across the country.

Kokedama Forest Installation / Nomad Studio

© Nomad Studio© Nomad Studio© Nomad Studio© Nomad Studio+ 24

  • Architects: Nomad Studio
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  990 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2021
  • Professionals: Nomad Studio

Philadelphia Museum Opens after Extensive Renovation Project led by Frank Gehry

Philadelphia Museum of Art opened to the public earlier this month after completing an extensive four-year renovation and interior expansion project led by Frank Gehry. The intervention, dubbed the Core Project, focused on renewing the museum's infrastructure, creating galleries and public spaces while leaving the 1928 exterior untouched. The culmination of two decades of planning and design, the project led by the renowned architect creates a compelling vision for the future of the museum while honouring the landmark building.

View from level one, looking across the Williams Forum stairs - Steve Hall, 2021. Image © Hall + Merrick PhotographersView of the South Hall from the South Vaulted Walkway. On view - Nuria, 2017. Image © Jaume PlensaDetail of the Williams Forum stairs seen from level one - Steve Hall, 2021. Image © Hall + Merrick PhotographersVaulted Walkway Guastavino Tiles - Steve Hall, 2021. Image © Hall + Merrick Photographers+ 22

Arthaus, KPF’s First Residential Tower in Philadelphia, Tops Out

Arthaus, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates' first residential tower in Philadelphia has just topped out. The 47-story development with 108 residences, slated for occupancy in early 2022, is located along the famed Avenue of the Arts directly across the street from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Courtesy of KPFCourtesy of KPFCourtesy of KPFCourtesy of KPF+ 22

Fill in the Gaps: Infill Architecture in Urban Residual Spaces

In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.

XS House / ISA

Philadelphia, United States

Stephen A. Levin Building for Neural and Behavioral Sciences / SmithGroup

© Alan Karchmer© Alan Karchmer© Alan Karchmer© Alan Karchmer+ 30

Comcast Technology Centre / Foster + Partners

© Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
© Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

© Nigel Young / Foster + Partners© Nigel Young / Foster + Partners© Jeffrey Totaro© Nigel Young / Foster + Partners+ 43

Charles Library at Temple University / Snøhetta

© Michael Grimm© Michael Grimm© Michael Grimm© Michael Grimm+ 37

Philadelphia, United States

PAU Reveals New JFK Towers for Philadelphia's Schuylkill Yards

The Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) has unveiled the design for two new towers at Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Yards. PAU was commissioned by Brandywine Realty Trust in collaboration with HDR Architects and Drexel University for one of the most important urban revitalization sites in the United States. As the first high rise structures in PAU’s portfolio, JFK Towers mark the first phase of the Schuylkill Yards project.

Courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)Courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)Courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)Courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)+ 7

Foster + Partners, Steven Spielberg, and Immersive Team Up for Universal Sphere

Foster+Partners and Immersive have joined forces with Steven Spielberg to create a digital entertainment experience for the Comcast Technology Center in Philadelphia. Immersive, recognized as a world leader in the design and production of experimental media installations, conceived the installation having been approached by Foster + Partners in 2016 to create a multimedia experience that would embody the Comcast Technology Center’s focus on innovation.

KPF Breaks Ground on First Philadelphia Residential Tower

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has celebrated the groundbreaking of their first residential tower in Philadelphia, titled Arthaus. The 47-story condominium tower is situated at Broad and Spruce streets along the famed Avenue of the Arts, and directly across the street from the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The scheme aims to create a rich, holistic experience from top to bottom, inside and out, an in the interiors for all residences and amenities.

© KPF© KPF© KPF© KPF+ 13

Three Piece House / Qb3 LLC

© Halkin Mason Photography© Halkin Mason Photography© Halkin Mason Photography© Halkin Mason Photography+ 11

  • Architects: Qb3 LLC
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  3000 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Vectorworks, Jeld-Wen, Kohler, Gendal, Halo Lighting, +3
  • Professionals: Fidelis Engineering Inc

Populous Designs the Western Hemisphere's Largest Esports Arena

Architecture practice Populous has announced plans for a $50 million esports and entertainment venue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dubbed Fusion Arena, the project will be the home of the Philadelphia Fusion esports franchise as the largest esports venue in the western hemisphere. Seating up to 3,500 guests, the project will host a variety of live entertainment programming and events. The arena was made to be the first of its kind for next-generation consumers.

Tiny Tower / ISA- Interface Studio Architects

© Sam Oberter Photography© Sam Oberter Photography© Sam Oberter Photography© Sam Oberter Photography+ 13

Philadelphia, United States

Call for Submissions: Request for Qualifications for Design of Thomas Paine Plaza

The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Property is requesting qualifications for the redesign of the Municipal Services Building’s Paine Plaza.

The City of Philadelphia is seeking a designer to give Thomas Paine Plaza a unique identity as a civic square for today’s Philadelphia.

The modernist Municipal Services Building and plaza were designed by Vincent Kling in 1961 as a symbol of a new government during a transformative era in urban planning, adjacent to City Hall on a site that had long been used as a public gathering space. Over the following fifty years, the plaza

Janet Echelman’s Moving Sculpture Creates a “Living X-Ray” of Philadelphia

Artist Janet Echelman has unveiled her latest site-specific work of public art, with the activation of the first phase of “Pulse” in Philadelphia’s Dilworth Park. Pulse seeks to reshape urban space “with a monumental, fluidly moving sculpture that responds to environmental forces including wind, water, and sunlight.

Inspired by the square’s history as a water and transportation hub, Echelman’s work traces the paths and trolley lines of the subway beneath, with four-foot-tall curtains of colorful atomized mist traveling across the park’s fountain surface in response to passing trains underneath.

© Sean O'Neill / Arup© Sahar Coston-Hardy© Sahar Coston-Hardy© Melvin Epps+ 14