NKCDC Model Block Project Featured on CBS Philly!

More than Just a Fence, It's a Neighborhood Gathering Place for Fishtown...

By Cherri Gregg 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Community investment along East Girard Avenue in Fishtown is shining a ray of hope on small businesses in the area.

And it’s sure to stop traffic — in a good way.

A new “interactive” fence has been installed near East Girard and Marlborough Streets, part of a low-cost, high impact Model Block Program.

With light-colored wooden slats, the fence has built-in shelves that can be used to sit on or hold merchandise.

“We’re going to use it for sidewalk sales, inpromptu farmer’s market-type things, hopefully having some food truck events on first Fridays,” says Angie Williamson of the New Kensington Community Development Corporation.

Catherine Jennings (top photo) owns Keys to the Attic, a vintage furniture store.  “A year ago, I was really the only business on the block,” she recalls.

She says the storefront improvements, also included in the investment, are helping to attract traffic to the corridor.

“It’s driven more business to my store and it’s also enticed other businesses to open on our block,” she said today.

The improvements are the result of a $98,000 grant from PNC Bank.  The monies have sparked investment in both Fishtown and in West Philadelphia.

“Small business is the engine for our economy,” says Terri Copeland, PNC vice presdient of community investment. “We feel that if we find the right infrastructure even in one block, we can provide stimulus for business.”

Copeland says other businesses, including a spa, are expected to open in the area.  She says the goal of the community investment is to encourage more businesses to open and drive more commercial traffic.

Source: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/10/0...

LISC features recent work on East Girard Avenue

Click the title above for the full article...

In Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, East Girard Avenue is becoming a destination for unique shops, good eats, and cool street design. It received a boost when LISC and its local partners unveiled a strategy to improve the retail strip as part of the Corridors of Retail Excellence (CORE) program, which includes a new marketing identity, eye-popping storefront designs, and new street art. The program, run by LISC MetroEdge and funded by PNC Bank, helps commercial corridors across the country attract new retail shops and create a unique local identity that increases foot traffic and sales for local businesses...

Project Unveiling This Friday in Fishtown!


Kickoff your First Friday on Frankford Ave. at the 300 block of E. Girard at the Model Block Unveiling - showcasing facade improvements facilitated with business owners and LISC with funding from PNC. See the block's transformation both in and outside as well as a new interactive fence.  Our studio designed and fabricated this modular fencing that can function as a bench, an art easel, a table for an impromptu farmer's market,  or meet-up point for First Friday all at the same time. 

For more information, contact Angie at awilliamson@nkcdc.org or 215-427-0350 x 111. 

We Won! Brian Szymanik wins AIA Philadelphia's Young Architect Award

AIA Philadelphia announced today that it has awarded the 2013 Young Architect Award to Brian Szymanik, Principal.   


From the AIA's Press Release:

Brian Szymanik, AIA, and Denise Thompson, AIA, have been selected to receive the 2013 Young Architect Award. The award is presented annually to a registered architect member between the ages of 25 and 39, wnho displays excellence and promise of future merit in design excellence, practice, education, or service. Szymanik and Thompson will receive their awards the evening of Oct. 14 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel during AIA Philadelphia’s annual Design Awards Banquet.

“The Jury was, again this year, taken by the high caliber of the candidates, says Mary Werner DeNadai, FAIA, chair of AIA Philadelphia’s Fellows Committee, which presents the award. “We eventually came to select two very diverse sets of credentials in the pair of young architects for this year. Philadelphia has a very promising future for new architecture and planning if these candidates are just a small representation of all young architects out there.”

Szymanik is a graduate of the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania (post-professional master of architecture) and the Tyler School of Art at Temple University (bachelor of architecture). He co-founded Studio 6mm with David Quadrini in 2013. Studio 6mm is a full-service architecture, design, and planning firm based in Philadelphia. Supported by a fabrication shop, the studio is prepared to equally engage the practical, theoretical, material, and experiential qualities of the field of architecture. Szymanik is also currently the visiting assistant professor of practice at Marywood University's School of Architecture, where he coordinates the fourth-year design studio sequence and teaches courses in building technology and environmental systems. He has served on the faculties at Temple University's Tyler School of Art and at Philadelphia University's College of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Thompson is a Massachusetts native and a 2002 graduate of Temple University (bachelor of architecture). Thompson is an associate at FrancisCauffman, where she has been a project manager focusing on healthcare design since 2003. Since 2005, she has been an active volunteer in the AIA, starting as the state associate director to the AIAPA board of directors and continuing on to be the Pennsylvania representative on the AIA National Associates Committee and Young Architects Forum. In addition to the various juries, knowledge communities, and committees she has participated in, Thompson reinstated the local Philadelphia Young Architects Forum and has been a member of the AIA Philadelphia board of directors since 2010.

Previous winners of the Young Architect Award include: James Oleg Kruhly, Alan Greenberger, Wesley Wei, James Wentling, Patricia Kucker, Daniela Holt Voith, Douglas Seiler, David Whatley Hinson, Harris Steinberg, Rachel Simmons Schade, Joseph Powell, Sam Olshin, Robert Shamble, RobertHotes, Andrew Phillips, Todd Woodward, Shawn Evans, Todd Drake, Anthony Bracali, Scott Kelly, John Cluver, Daryn Edwards, Patrick StewartMcdonough, Karen Blanchard, Michael Kelly, Jules Dingle, and DanielleDiLeo Kim.



Our work has been featured in Four Corners Exhibition and Website

David Quadrini's recent collaboration with Bench Dog Design is featured in Minima Gallery's Four Corners Exhibition.  

'Four Corners: Design from Philly Surrounds' was a contemporary period room — a lived-in loft that contained furniture, lighting, and objects conceived, designed, fabricated, and/or produced by designers and companies based in Philadelphia proper and its immediate surrounds. It's a room that might exist in the urban home of a 21st century Philadelphian who is very into local design.

The “surrounds” in the title represent the region immediately surrounding Philly, but we also mean for it to be read as a verb. Design from Phillysurrounds us and surrounds you — no matter where you are sitting — even more than you think it does.

The objects in the exhibit act out a visual dialogue between Philadelphia design giants such as Florence Knoll, Anne Tyng, and George Nakashima, and new and emerging talents, including Jaime Salm of MIO Culture, Jesse Gerard of Carrot Grant, and David Quadrini. The loft tableau contained around 50 objects — furniture, lighting, textiles, wallpaper, toys, tabletop, electronics, and art — by 50 designers and artists. The objects’ stories are ones of heritage, craft, manufacturing, and innovation. The exhibit was a way into Philadelphia’s design identity and we think it provided a spectrum of answers to the question: What is Philadelphia design today?




Our work with NKCDC is featured in Flying Kite Media!

We are working with the New Kensington Community Development Corporation to re-imagine the East Girard Avenue Commercial Corridor in Philadelphia's Fishtown Neighborhood.  The project has promoted best-practices for business owners and property owners considering renovations or upgrades to their properties.  Click the title above for a link to the article.


  Flat Signage Standards for East Girard Avenue.

Flat Signage Standards for East Girard Avenue.

Brian Szymanik presents at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver, CO.

Brian Szymanik presented his recent work with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on Friday June 21 at the Denver Convention Center.  The session, titled "Planning for the Future of Education and Practice," highlighted the process and outcomes of the AIA's preparations for the National Architectural Accrediting Board's (NAAB) 2013 Accreditation Review Conference (ARC).

The development of this work began with a simple fundamental question:  What is the future of the profession of architecture, and how should education respond?  During the ARC, decisions are made and policies are enacted that determine the metrics through which architecture programs in the United States are gauged and accredited. These metrics have a direct and measurable impact on the skills and abilities of the graduates, interns, and architects who will join, then lead, the profession in the future. The session offered a unique opportunity to learn about the role that the AIA takes in helping to define the future of practice with its partners in this effort.

The ARC offers each of the NAAB's Collateral Organizations (ACSA, AIA, AIAS, and NCARB) the opportunity to present the concerns, ambitions, and visions of their constituencies. Each organization develops positions to speak to the future of both the field of architecture and the landscape of architecture education in the United States. In anticipation of this opportunity, the AIA has spent the past year researching, analyzing, and documenting the positions of its membership and leadership. The culmination of this research is a white paper that details the thoughts, concerns, and suggestions of the Institute. This session will begin with a presentation of the AIA's Strategic Alliances and Initiatives Unit's work across the Institute to situate this project in the overall context of the AIA's operations. Then, share the processes, methods, and findings that informed the research undertaken by the AIA in preparation for this Conference. This presentation reviewed the NAAB's Conditions for Accreditation and Student Performance Criteria before discussing the contents and recommendations of the white paper to be delivered to the NAAB during the ARC. Attendees gained insight into current concerns of practice, emerging issues for the academy, and the potential trajectory of architecture education expected in the coming decade as a result of this work. 

  The Clifford Still Museum  by Allied Works Architecture.

The Clifford Still Museum by Allied Works Architecture.