Here’s a bunch of work from mid-reviews this week. Most of them are 502 (2nd semester 1st year m.archs), but there are a few 500 level landscape and 700 level m.arch projects as well! In 502 we’re looking to design a space to improve public health; Our site is right off of the South st. bridge, along the Schuykill river.

Schenk-Woodman & Deans Interdisciplinary Competition

Somewhat tangential from the previous post, our first week of the semester was spent collaborating in small groups with our peers participating in the Schenk-Woodman design competition. This year was switched up by having 3-4 M.Arch students per team along with 1 M.Landscape Architecture student! Below is the brief if you’re interested!


“As sea levels continue to rise, the frequency of flooding will increase. The “100 year” storm, as currently defined, is expected to become the 70-year storm by 2020 and the 25-year storm by 2080. Rain, tides, wind and storm surge can compound effects, ravaging coastal communities, and destroying both sparsely populated areas and metropolitan urban centers alike. As cities along the Atlantic Seaboard weigh mammoth investments in long-term responses that cannot provide immediate protection, some are charged with improving flood emergency management in the meantime.

Cities need infrastructure that extends rapid-response capabilities in low-lying neighborhoods. Staging areas for first responders, debris clearance, sand and material stockpiles, and a base of operations for aid, food and power distribution, temporary shelter and community self-help are key emergency programs. Creative designs for storm command posts may also integrate buildings and landscape to advance longer-term strategies for coastal defense, resilience, community capital, or decampment to high ground. The Schenk-Woodman Competition will explore the design of a flood emergency operations base on a site in Grays Ferry, Philadelphia…Each team will be asked to propose a transformative design for the Grays Ferry Shopping Center parking lot, currently an underused urban retail strip.

Each team is charged with redesigning the site to morph into an Emergency Operations Base during times of flood. The transformed site will support the rescue and recovery of the immediate area. Temporary structures for emergency services, including resettlement pods for displaced residents, need to be considered, sited, and constructed. The resettlement pods should be designed as minimal modules that relate to the permanent design of the site. Strategies for staging emergency services, flows of materials, vehicles, and pedestrians need to be developed…The project should rethink the open expanse of asphalt and parking, but current uses of the buildings and vehicular parking (though a reduced quantity) must be retained, as these serve the Grays Ferry community. At least one new use must be added to extend the utility and vitality of the site when not in flood, while avoiding interference with the temporal emergency function.

Program should include:

  • Definition of the site in terms of topography, surfacing, program, flows, and other design elements for emergency and quotidian uses.
  • The proposed amendment to 1 facade of the adjacent buildings and its relation to the site (verticality vs. horizontality)
  • Definition of access points, circulation, and program areas
  • Any additional site fixtures, furnishings, or enclosures as proposed
  • Any sectional strategies if included

The program for the temporary Emergency Operations Base and use of the site will need to include:

  • 500sf Emergency Operations Command Center
  • 750sf triage and medical center
  • 1500 sf Public Utility Center for access to generated power (to charge phones), satellite/cell service, basic water and sanitary needs.
  • 1200 sf Supply Depot for food, clothing, and dry goods.
  • 100 temporary resettlement pods for immediately displaced residents.
  • Diagrams and strategies how it is implemented


Grays Ferry Shopping Center, 29th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146

Apologies for the sub-par images, they don’t do justice to the work on the walls but will hopefully give some sense of the school. Keep in mind, we had 8 days to complete this project! Congratulations to all of the teams!