Spring Finals

Where did it all go?!? Time is passing like crazy and I can’t believe that so much has happened in such a short time.

Finals week is here and gone. Studio review happened yesterday. Despite a tiring round of all-nighters and the most anxiety to present than I have felt in a while (probably since undergrad 1) I learned a lot from my review. While praise is always nice the conversation around my thought process, analysis and design decisions give me a better sense of what to keep working on. Certainly a more careful look over the qualities of a place versus their placement could help refine the geometries further.

Thankfully project revisions can wait for summer. For now I can read outside and ponder the relationships between large parks as a typology and their impact on city living and landscape design/allocations. Often everything adds up on paper but not quite in reality. I look forward to exploring this theme further during my summer “break”.

For now the only class to finish up is a week of field ecology chasing after Sally on daily tours of new places and the things that make it tick!

Construction on Campus

As past jobs have finished up and opened to the public new jobs start construction. It seems like campus will never cease building, or at least not in my time here.

There are four projects that I walk past daily on my way to class.

One project has recently put up test pieces for facades. It is hidden between buildings on campus facing Spruce Street. The subway exit is still accesible but I can imagine may experience shut downs.


Another project on campus is the new dormitories being built on 40th and Walnut Street. These buildings were designed by BCJ in Philadelphia. It was really nice during a BCJ firm crawl with PennDesigns Women in Architecture that two of the firms designers spoke with us about this project. There was a lot of research and play with facade materials and general organization to benefit students over general public. This site is unique also because it is even during construction catering to the Free Library directly on site, the church across the walkway, and the dorms adjacent to it.


The third site is nearly complete. The Ronald McDonald house has been expanding adding on a housing wing. It has been fun watching this project go up. I am excited to see them take away the construction fence and view the finished project.


The fourth project underway is on Chestnut Street behind the gym. The foundations appear to be in. I don’t walk past this project often so unfortunately haven’t taken an updated photo. As progress is made over summer I am sure I will discuss this projects progress more.

While I may not be in Philly quite as much in summer as in fall/spring I look forward to seeing the progress and new projects sure to show up.

LARPERS: Winterthur

Winterthur: https://www.winterthur.org/

Winterthur, originally a private estate, is now a museum and garden. The grounds are extensive holding a number of different gardens and amusement spaces. While we were there a portion of the grounds were being set up for some sort of summer fair. To give a sense of scale, the fairground activity could not be detected from the gardens we visited.

I do not recall the names of each garden particularly as some of the transitions were so smooth that it was difficult to tell you were transitioning. Below are a few photos highlighting some of the lovely places we stopped to analyze and the fascinating discoveries we made:



Once done touring and analyzing the variety of gardens across the grounds the group settled for lunch. Thanks to Winterthur’s Follies in the Garden exhibit I was able to bask in the sun atop a small black tower whimsically centered in a grass field looking over both the home and the grounds to enjoy my sandwich. This warm and peaceful retreat did not stay that way long. It seems that the hoards of children playing in the shade of the Children’s Garden caught sight of this tower and aimed to claim it. Despite staying still and guarding my Coca-cola and chips from these small invaders I ultimately saw fit to retreat to my friends cold luncheon spot beneath the trees bordering the meadow.

Lunch turned into a free hour to roam during which a few of us chose to seek out the remaining follies. The majority of the follies appeared roughly the same with the only difference being location and material, oddly not form.

The bus ride back to campus was a peaceful one. Unfortunately the return to studio meant a return to finals deadlines. Deadlines no one was eager to face just then.