Grocery Store, Chestnut Hill, PA

Client: Weaver's Way Co-op.

By BWA Architecture + Planning with support by David Quadrini and Brian Szymanik. 

Weavers Way Co-op provides food access from healthy and sustainable sources while promoting environmental stewardship in all of its operations. Building on the Co-op's strategic plan, Weaver's Way developed a second store in Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill neighborhood to better serve its existing members and welcome new ones. 

Features at this new location include: reduced electric light use through passive day lighting strategies, waste heat recovery from refrigeration systems for building-wide use, rain water harvesting, and photovoltaic solar array for electrical generation. The project also sought to find ways for this substantial operation to fit elegantly within the existing built fabric of the National Historic Germantown Avenue Corridor. Weavers Way Co-op has a visual presence on the block and presents itself as a welcoming location while working well well with its neighbors to better reinforce the Chestnut Hill as a community and promote Germantown Avenue as a destination.

Commercial Corridor Improvements for East Passyunk Avenue

Clients: Passyunk Avenue Revitalization, Inc. and Capital Access, Inc.

 By BWA Architecture + Planning with support by Brian Szymanik. 

This project sought to initiate the revitalization of the East Passyunk Avenue commercial corridor in South Philadelphia. This initiative involved the renovation, restoration, and reuse of twelve scattered-site mixed-use properties peppered between McKean and Dickinson Streets along East Passyunk Avenue.

A concentration of renovations was developed surrounding a small square formed from the intersections of East Passyunk Avenue, Tasker Street, and 11th Street. The precinct is anchored by an existing fountain previously installed by the project’s client, East Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Inc. [PARI]. This fountain, and the plaza it inhabits, is celebrated through the project’s concentration on its perimeter. Five properties were renovated in this zone to intensify both commercial and residential occupancies in an attempt to bring life and activity to this public space. Programmatically, this precinct witnessed a conglomeration of restaurant uses that celebrate the vitality of this neighborhood while attracting a diverse clientele to rediscover all that the Avenue has to offer.

Warehouse Feasibility, Programming, and Building Assessment 

Client: Common Market

Common Market, a mission-driven distributor of local foods to the Mid-Atlantic region asked our studio to perform a building assessment of a warehouse on Erie Avenue in Philadelphia's Hunting Park neighborhood. Our work helped Common Market assess their needs and the ability of the existing building to meet their requirements.  Utilizing our expertise in adaptive reuse, phasing, and planning, our work allowed Common Market to make an informed decision as to the feasibility of this property for their operations.

Broad Street Facade Improvements

Client: Logan Community Development Corporation.

 In collaboration with The Community Design Collaborative.

Given the understanding that many small business owners don't have the capital to make significant improvements to their buildings, the rStore initiative is a matching grant program that gives these owners an opportunity to make much needed upgrades to their properties.  As part of a project, managed by the Community Design Collaborative and paired with specific building owners, design interventions were proposed that included simple façade improvements that would increase their visibility within the community and make them more accessible.  At the same time, a standard set of design guidelines was created for the Logan CDC, so in the future they could facilitate similar storefront improvements directly with the business owners and develop a unified business district within the community.

Facade Improvements and Renovations to the Devon Movie Theater

Client: The Mayfair Community Design Corporation.

 In collaboration with The Community Design Collaborative.

The Devon Theater is a performing arts theater located along Frankford Avenue in the Mayfair community in Northeast Philadelphia. The theater is located amid various restaurants and retail stores along Frankford Avenue. The Mayfair Community Development Corporation (CDC) desires to develop the commercial corridor surrounding the Devon as an arts and cultural district, creating a new “hot spot” for the City in the heart of Mayfair. The CDC has elicited design services to “refresh” the Devon façade along Frankford Avenue.

The existing movie theater recently underwent a spectacular interior renovation. The Mayfair CDC is now turning its attention to the building's exterior and streetscape. Although the building is generally in good repair, it could benefit from an imaginative make over and re-branding to give it a new presence and identity on Frankford Avenue.


Corporate Interior Fit-Out, Philadelphia Design Studio

By DLR Group with support from Brian Szymanik.

In 2007, DLR Group expanded its operations into the Philadelphia market through a strategic merger with Becker Winston Architects. After investigating a series of spaces, the principals of the firm decided to bring two regional offices together in one design studio located in the historic Public Ledger Building in Old City Philadelphia. DLR Group's Philadelphia Design Studio was seen as a way to knit together two studio cultures under a new unified leadership structure.

The Philadelphia Design Studio takes advantage of the layers of history within the existing space by preserving the raw loft-like interiors with careful insertions of new program, structure, and skin. Clear distinctions are maintained between the delicate new construction that uses light as its muse and the historic heavy masonry structure and skin.


© 2013