Greening the Grid, the winning team in the residential element of the Soak It Up! challenge, envisioned retrofits in Queen Village that would plant more trees along residential streets, connect those streets with corner parks, and connect those parks with larger community greenspaces in the neighborhood and across the city. Their submission can serve as model for just about every neighborhood in town.
Greener map of Queen Village
“It won’t be successful at the end of the day if you take a vacant lot in Queen Village and turn it into a rain garden,” said Kristen Knese, senior marketing coordinator at The Olin Studio, and one of the members of the winning residential team, about how to retrofit a residential area with stormwater management infrastructure. While it seems simple enough to improve stormwater management in a residential setting, say by fabricating…
For some design professionals, the Soak It Up! challenge provided the opportunity to flirt with ideas they’ve perhaps talked about but not yet had the chance to implement.
We’ve covered the challenge, created by the Community Design Collaborative and the Philadelphia Water Department, since it was first announced last year. The winners were announced in early March. Part of the challenge meant meeting price ceilings indicated by the contest. So submissions had to be economically as well as physically efficient.
“It was the perfect way to express the vision we’re looking to put forth,” said Melissa Muroff, vice president of green roof company Roofmeadow, and a member of the winning industrial site team, about the competition. The Germantown-based firm specializes in developing aesthetically pleasing stormwater management solutions via green roofs.
A blue-green roof
The Leveraging Water + Plants…
While developers can easily include sustainable elements in new projects, there exist various opportunities around Philadelphia for environmentally friendly retrofits. But what’s the best way to alter old sites with new sustainable fabrications?
Soak it up!
The Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! design challenge was a call for innovation. As we told you previously, it was created by the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) and the Water Department, and sought submissions from professionals nationwide about how they would revitalize stormwater management at three different sites: one industrial, one commercial and one residential. Winners were announced in March during an event that featured presentations from three finalists in each of the three categories. A significant challenge for judges was that the winning projects had to be implementable in the real world.
“There was this real pragmatic underpinning about who got to be a finalist,” said Linda…
When the Soak It Up! design challenge was first announced last summer the idea seemed right enough: identify a few old sites that could be retrofitted with sustainable technology and turn submission ideas into a design contest that hopefully draws entries from a national pool.
Numerous design professionals joined together to form teams and present submissions for their plans to transform either a bland industrial, commercial, or residential property or area into a brand new sustainability- magazine-model location.
Soak it up!
Rapid fire with a sustainable flare will be the theme of the night at the Infill Philadelphia: Soak it UP! Design awards, Thursday March 7, from 6 to 9 pm at the Academy of the Natural Sciences. At the ceremony, nine finalists will share their plans via a seven-minute presentation.
“All the entries were strong,” said Linda Dottor, program manager…
One way development and improvement projects are incubated at public institutions in a city facing a stressed budget, is through workshops organized by smaller organizations who connect the necessary professionals to the communities in need.
The goal is for the project to go from the whiteboard to the parcel, so to speak. That’s what’s happening at the Henry C. Lea School, located at 4700 Locust St. in West Philly. In May, we wrote about a design charrette hosted by the Community Design Collaborative. The goal of that charrette was to generate community ideas about how to green the schoolyard at Lea, now a lake of concrete.
The event featured relevant professionals from SMP Architects, Viridian Landscape Studio, Meliora Environmental Design LLC, and a cost estimator who after the charrette compiled the ideas, refined them and applied them to…
Less than five months after breaking ground, the new Brewerytown Supermarket at 31st & Girard opened its doors last week. Years in the making, this new Bottom Dollar location will provide locals with easier access to groceries than they’ve had in decades, and at reasonable prices, to boot. And since it has been built due to the collaboration of community groups, politicians, and developers, this is a particularly proud moment for many people.
We don’t claim to be design experts here, but we can say without hesitation that the design of the project is terribly disappointing. And we’re not even gonna get into the orange pig curiously stationed on the roof.
Anybody like Pink Floyd?
A few years back, Interface Studio Architects, and the Community Design…