The Infill Philadelphia: Soak It Up! design competition challenged architects, landscape architects, engineers, and other sustainability professionals to show how green stormwater infrastructure could transform Philadelphia.
This national, interdisciplinary design competition was created by the Philadelphia Water Department, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Community Design Collaborative to inspire innovation in green stormwater infrastructure for Philadelphia.
28 design teams designed for one of three sites in Philadelphia, each reflecting the common stormwater management opportunities and challenges of industrial, retail commercial, or neighborhood sites throughout the city.Their ingenious design solutions exceeded our expectations and imaginations—exactly as we hoped! We gratefully thank every team who committed their time and talent to this competition.
Nine finalists were selected to present their design solutions to the public and a jury at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia on March 7, 2013. View the video, as over 320 people cheer for the winners and Soak It Up! partners say, “Bring it on!”
Congratulations to the winning teams!
Leveraging Plants + Water on Zero Lot Sites
“Stormwater management practices, shaped strategically, can complement and catalyze urban redevelopment. Leveraging Water+Plants explores the varied potential for rainwater management for a typical “zero lot line” industrial property.
Five separate but complementary strategies are proposed. Three make adaptive use of the building through 1) the transformation of the façade, 2) lightweight, cost-effective strategies for roof space, and 3) the strategic creation of rainwater courtyards within the context of adaptive reuse of the building. Two additional strategies consider the transformation of public space to support community revitalization and the effective management of rainwater resources.” View the presentation.
Roofmeadow, Philadelphia, PA
In Posse – A subsidiary of AKF, Philadelphia, PA
m2 Architecture, Philadelphia, PA
Meliora Environmental Design LLC, Phoenixville, PA
SED Design, Blue Bell, PA
S. Edgar David
Sere Ltd., Spring Mills, PA
“Stormwater reStore transforms the Grays Ferry Shopping Center into a green, inviting destination outfitted with outdoor community spaces, rain gardens, native vegetation, and a restored connection to the Schuylkill River. The design implements several key initiatives to improve the site’s visibility and shopping experience by providing scalable, adaptable alternatives that can be integrated into other urban strip retail centers in the city.
These initiatives include 1) Creating cost-effective opportunities to improve the stormwater management on the sites, adjacent properties, and roadways, 2) Creating a more inviting, pedestrian-friendly retail center with community-oriented amenities on the site, and 3) Identifying cost-effective energy-reducing and sustainable building and site alternatives.” View the presentation.
Urban Engineers Inc., Philadelphia, PA
Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, New York, NY
Spiezle Architectural Group, Trenton, NJ
A. Stevens Krug
Neighborhood—Greening the Grid
“It would be easier to go for the low-hanging fruit—large lots and low-population areas—but Philadelphia has far too many neighborhoods to ignore. Large sites are the most cost-effective properties to implement Stormwater Management Practices. However, there are not enough of these properties.
Meeting Green creates a replicable model that balances the need to implement effective low-cost projects with solutions that maximize the triple-bottom benefits of investing in neighborhoods. The concept is to offer the opportunity to distribute the responsibility for managing stormwater sustainably between the public and private sectors and incentives property owner participation.” View the presentation.
OLIN Design Studio, Philadelphia, PA
R. Benjamin Lawrence
Gilmore & Associates, New Britain, PA
International Consultants Inc., Philadelphia, PA
MM Partners LLC, Philadelphia, PA
SMP Architects, Philadelphia, PA
A total of 28 teams, 101 firms, and 315 professionals from the Philadelphia region and other cities including New York City, St. Louis, Chicago, Oakland, and Portland teamed up to enter the design competition.
The finalists and winning entries were chosen for their ability to be implemented, replicated, and cost-effective. Happily, they also offer green stormwater infrastructure solutions for Philadelphia that are both engaging and beautiful.