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PLACE, TIME AND PHOTOGRAPHY Digital Illusions Subjective Views Fresh Perspectives


Celebrating 65 Years of Structural Solutions for Architects & Institutions keasthood.com

Winter 2019 – IN THIS ISSUE We explore the relationship between photography and architecture

FEATURES 10 Architectural Photography in the Digital Age by John Andrew Gallery

14 The Subjective Lens: Three Mid-Century Philadelphias by Timothy A. Kerner



18 Photo Arts for Philly Teens by Michelle Wallace and Lori Waselchuck

ON THE COVER The Earle Theater at 11th and Market Streets in 1953 Photo: Jacob Stelman CONTEXT is published by

AIA Philadelphia A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 215-569-3186, www.aiaphiladelphia.com. The opinions expressed in this – or the representations made by advertisers, including copyrights and warranties, are not those of the editorial staff, publisher, AIA Philadelphia, or

CORRECTION The Fall 2018 issue of CONTEXT failed to credit photographer Chris Baker Evens with several images in the Design Profile for Frankford Pause Park, Hinge Collective (pgs 30-31) including the large opening image on the left page of the profile.

AIA Philadelphia’s Board of Directors. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission is strictly prohibited. Postmaster: send change of address to AIA Philadelphia, 1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 Published DECEMEBER 2018

Suggestions? Comments? Questions? Tell us what you think about the latest issue of CONTEXT magazine by emailing context@aiaphilaorg. A member of the CONTEXT editorial committee will be sure to get back to you. AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 3


Robert Shuman, AIA, LEED AP, Treasurer Frank Grauman, FAIA, Past President | Secretary Kelly Vresilovic, AIA, LEED AP, Chapter Director Catherine (Katie) Broh, AIA, LEED AP, Chapter Director Paul Avazier, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, Chapter Director Soha St. Juste, AIA, Chapter Director Sarah Soh, AIA, LEED AP, Chapter Director Stephen Kuttner Potts, AIA, Chapter Director Sherman Aronson, AIA, LEED AP, Chapter Director Erin Roark, AIA, LEED AP, Chapter Director Jeff Goldstein, AIA, Chapter Director


Commercial/Retail | Education | Energy/Solar | Government/Military Healthcare | Manufacturing/Warehouse | Petrochemical/Refinery Pharmaceutical/Biopharmaceutical | Residential/Mixed-Use


Jeff Pastva, AIA, AIA PA Director Alesa Rubendall, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, PA Director Rich Vilabrera, Jr., Assoc. AIA, Associate Director David Golden, Assoc. AIA, Associate Director Tya Winn, Public Member Rebecca Johnson, Executive Director

CONTEXT EDITORIAL BOARD CO-CHAIRS Harris M. Steinberg, FAIA, Drexel University Todd Woodward, AIA, SMP Architects Concept Development Design Assistance Peer Review Construction Administration Envelope Commissioning Performance Investigation

BOARD MEMBERS Wolfram Arendt, AIA, LAYER Architecture William W. Braham, Ph.D., FAIA, University of Pennsylvania David Brownlee, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Jon Coddington, AIA, Drexel University Susan Miller Davis, AIA Daryn Edwards, AIA, CICADA Architecture Planning Sally Harrison, AIA, Temple University Timothy Kerner, AIA, Terra Studio Elizabeth Miller, Community Design Collaborative Stephen P. Mullin, Econsult Solutions, Inc. Rashida Ng, RA, Temple University

Edwards & Company Building Envelope Consultants

Jeff Pastva, AIA, Bright Common Richard Roark, ASLA, Olin Rachel Simmons Schade, AIA, Drexel University David Zaiser, AIA, Whitman Requardt and Associates LLP

STAFF Rebecca Johnson, AIA Philadelphia Executive Director Elizabeth Paul, Managing Editor 215-703-0628 | www.edwardsbec.com | info@edwardsbec.com

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Tiffany Mercer-Robbins, Layout Designer Laurie Churchman, Designlore, Art Director



TRANSFORMATIONAL PRACTICES TIMOTHY KERNER, AIA Principal, Terra Studio Architecture & Design and CONTEXT Editor

If you went to photography school, you would have heard that, “a photograph is made, not taken.” This may seem like semantic play but the distinction raises two important aspects. It emphasizes that a photograph results from a fabrication process involving a series of critical choices. It also reminds us that a photograph is a thing in itself with particular physical characteristics. When we look at a photograph, we observe an entity that is not the same as reality. To paraphrase Magritte, an image of a pipe is not a pipe. The photographic process begins with all the complexity of the open surroundings. The photographer selects a view, composes the light and shadow, arranges the focal plane, and freezes a moment upon a reactive surface. The result is a framed, two-dimensional composition of visual associations that may not have been apparent prior to the shot. Interestingly, this process can be considered an inverse of the architectural practice, where two-dimensional drawings are translated into threedimensional surroundings. Both procedures involve a restructuring of reality as well as dimensional transformation but the results are quite different; a photograph of a building is not a building.

Front and Callowhill Streets, 1949

Nonetheless, photographs are the architectural profession’s stock

– Lawrence Williams, Jacob Stelman and John Mosley – and consider

in trade. They are printed and disseminated in the pursuit of clients

what their photos tell us about the relationship between people and their

and professional recognition. We depend on photography; it saves our

city. Our attention then moves forward to the intriguing photographs

memories, influences our perceptions, expands our visual vocabulary

and comments from five talented students of the Teen Photo program

and shapes our architectural ideas. As you review the winning projects

at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.

of the 2018 Design Awards, consider that photography may be the only means by which you know these buildings.

As is the case with all forms of visual representation, the significance of a photograph ultimately resides in the mind of the observer. While

In this issue of Context, we explore the relationship between

reviewing the images and text within this issue, consider your own

photography and architecture. We begin with the current state of the

understanding of the relationship between architecture and photography;

field as John Gallery shares what he learned from four architectural

perhaps you will notice a few things you didn’t see before. n

photographers about their processes, which involve a collaborative blending of the physical and digital worlds. We then turn back towards the contrasting visions of three mid-century Philadelphia photographers AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 5

COMMUNITY Hello Friends and Colleagues: WHY HAVE US VOTE IF THERE IS NO COMPETITION FOR THE AIA PHILADELPHIA BOARD ELECTIONS? We received several comments on the fact that our Board Election Ballot has only one nominated candidate per available seat on the AIA Philadelphia Board. So, let me explain. First, We Changed the Board of Directors’ Roles In the Strategic Plan, we changed the Board of Directors' roles to coincide with a topical area that an individual Board member would be responsible for understanding. The Director would support the programming within certain committees and initiatives and become the knowledge expert under that topical area. For example, the Director of Design will work with the Design Committee and Individual Awards; and the Director of Sustainability and Preservation will work with the COTE Committee, Historic Preservation, Philadelphia 2030, and the Building Enclosure Council. The goal of this realignment of the Board is to strengthen the communication between the Board and the Committees. These roles are: •

Director of Sustainability & Preservation

Director of Design

Director of Equitable Communities

Director of Professional Development

Director of Advocacy

Director of Strategic Engagement

Director of Diversity, Firm Culture, and

Director of Education


Director of Technology and Innovation

We believe these new Board roles will position our elected AIA Philadelphia Directors as thought leaders in the industry and provide them with opportunities to represent the organization at the decision-making table. When there is a citywide conversation about sustainability – shouldn’t an AIA Philadelphia leader be involved in that conversation? Or what about the discussions about Smart Cities and how technology will make our infrastructure and public spaces “smarter?” Through our strategic plan, we intend to recruit individuals to run for the board who want to lead, not only internally, but also externally, around these critical issues. It is a commitment to run and serve on the AIA Philadelphia Board, and we have set up ambitious goals for our organization for the next five years. Therefore, we are looking for enthusiastic people to help us achieve these goals – and we want to help develop, fine-tune, and amplify your existing leadership skills to advance progress on the issues we care about while demonstrating the value of an architects’ skills and expertise. Second, We Want and Need More Candidates The second reason why the election isn’t competitive is that we need more candidates. If you are interested in serving the local architectural community, while also positioning yourself as an expert and leader in any of the above topical areas, let us know. The current President-Elect is the Chair of the Nominating Committee, and it’s never too early to reach out and tell him or her (or any Board member!) you are interested. Thank you and enjoy your Holiday season.

Rebecca Johnson Executive Director AIA Philadelphia Center / Architecture + Design

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Come celebrate the 2018 winners of the Philadelphia Emerging Architect Prize, SHIFTSPACE, and the Young Architect Award, Jordan M. Mrazik, AIA. On Thursday, February 7, 2019, the Center for Architecture and Design will host an opening reception for the On the Rise exhibition featuring the works of SHIFTSPACE and Jordan M. Mrazik, AIA. The exhibit will be on display from January 31, 2019 through March 7, 2019. The PEA Prize is awarded annually to recognize an emerging architecture firm producing innovative design strategies within the Philadelphia region. Eligible firms must have been established & licensed within the past 10 years. The Young Architect Award is awarded annually to one or more registered architect member of AIA Philadelphia between the ages of 25 and 39. Through the materials presented to the AIA Awards Committee, a successful candidate must display excellence and promise of future merit in two, three, or all four of the following categories: • Design Excellence: through the aesthetic or scientific application for the built environment • Practice: through leadership, management, and/or specialized technical expertise • Education: through teaching, publications, and/or researh • Service: through exemplary service and contributions to the profession and/or society Learn more about the 2018 winners in the Design Awards section of the issue.

COMMUNITY AIA Philadelphia

Congratulations 2019 AIA Philadelphia elected board members. Please welcome to the AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors, newly elected board members Paul J. Avazier, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, NCARB, Robert Z. Schuman, AIA, LEED AP, Soha St. Juste, AIA, Chris Blakelock, AIA, CPHC, Rob Fleming, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Timothy A. Kerner, AIA, Danielle DiLeo Kim, AIA, Stephan Potts, AIA, Clarissa Kelsey, Associate AIA, and Tya Winn, NOMA, LEED Green Associate, SEED. Join the entire AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors at the Induction Ceremony scheduled for January 10, 2019, 5:30 - 8 PM at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. Look for the the 2019 recipient of the Thomas U. Walter Award winner announcement in an upcoming The Philadelphia Architect newsletter. The award is presented annually to current members of the architectural profession to recognize their contributions to the architectural community through their service to the American Institute of Architects and other related professional organizations. Registration is required, visit the AIA Philadelphia website for more information.

DAG has a new, content rich, highly functional and design-forward website! Check it out at designadvocacy.org. Among the new features is the Forum section, a kind of digital, op-ed page. We're looking for insightful opinion pieces that comment on things we hadn't noticed before, propose solutions to problems we need to fix, or share treasures about this city that will make us all proud. Visit the Forum page to see how to query us. A few thanks are in order: the site was created with the generous support of the William Penn Foundation. Shout outs, too, to Ashley Hahn and Bonnie Thompson, two great DAG volunteers, for all their help through the website redevelopment process. And to P'unk Avenue, our terrific web developer/designer and another hometown design hero.

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“The design really emerged through a number of sessions with the neighbors. We were surprised by the general enthusiasm that the imagery evoked. People of all ages related to this design that emphasizes openness, a sense of welcome, and incorporates elements that reference the neighborhood, such as the galloping rhythm of the façade scrim and the sawtooth light monitors,” says Jeff Goldstein, AIA, a principal of DIGSAU. He adds, “We were excited by the opportunity to stitch together the park and the neighborhood. Mostly, we were energized by the participation of the neighbors and stakeholders and gained conviction in the project as their vision emerged.” The conceptual design built upon an earlier feasibility study completed for the Parkside Association by DIGSAU through the Collaborative. The proposed building program includes regulation facilities for youth basketball, swimming, and field – and a community fitness center, classrooms, and meeting rooms. A double-height lobby with a large central staircase unites these uses and provides an exciting stage for events and performances. Site plans and axonometric drawings were also a major product of pro bono preliminary design

services. They helped the project’s champions understand and show the implications of two development scenarios – one that retains the existing salt storage facility or one that relocates the salt storage facility. The jury for the 2018 AIA Design Awards admired the Center’s design but saw the most value in the programming study and phasing options. “The mission of the Community Design Collaborative is to help nonprofit organizations, leveraging the designer’s approach in helping clients solve problems and advance their needs. We appreciate… how important this stage of the design process is.” Marjorie Ogilvie, chair of the WPYSF Steering Committee, says, “Schools in the area – particularly high schools – lack regulation sports facilities. The center must be multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and offer a variety of assets for an economically diverse clientele… It is envisioned as community hub.” She adds, "The center will breed new life and excitement. The need for other community amenities will become apparent." Learn more about the project and the volunteer team by visiting https://cdesignc.org/featuredwork.


The conceptual design for the West Parkside Youth Sports and Community Learning Center is the recipient of AIA Philadelphia's 2018 Community Design Award. The award recognizes one project completed by the Community Design Collaborative every year for excellence in design, collaboration, and community impact. The conceptual design for the West Parkside Youth Sports and Community Learning Center is part of the portfolio of social impact design projects made possible through the Collaborative’s Design Grants program. Design grants provide pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations throughout greater Philadelphia. They expand access to design, engage communities directly in the design process, and equip nonprofits with critical knowledge and plans to lead community development. The village center, the rowhouse, and Philly's industrial past provided the inspiration for the WPYSF conceptual design. Once part of an immense rail yard, the proposed development site on Parkside Avenue encompasses vacant industrial land owned by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, a Philadelphia Streets Department salt storage facility, and an abandoned SEPTA trolley turnaround. A horse stable and six rowhomes are adjacent. The KIPP DuBois Collegiate Academy and Discovery Charter School serve as bookends to the site. The conceptual design was created for the Parkside Association of Philadelphia by a multidisciplinary team of Collaborative volunteers led by DIGSAU, an award-winning firm practicing contemporary architecture, urbanism and environmental design that provides unique, high-quality design to a diverse client group.

1 BUS, 2 CITIES, 3 STOPS, 12 HOURS, 48 STUDENTS, INFINITE IMAGINATIONS...IGNITED 8:30 AM - Forty-eight professionally attired students board a charter bus bound for New York City. They are juniors and seniors from The Charter High School for Architecture + Design, chaperoned by Counselor Gwen Petersen and Chief Innovation Officer Andrew Phillips, AIA. Excited conversations fill the bus as it pulls away from the school. The students have waited a year or more for their turn. This trip has become a tradition, made possible through the consistent generosity of staunch CHAD supporter, Lisa Roberts. Two hours later, New York’s skyline rises. The Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and iconic skyscrapers appear. For many of the students, this is the first visit ever. Questions and comments bounce around the bus. We plunge into the Lincoln Tunnel. On the other side, the bus swings south and we are soon at our first stop: The Cooper Union. 11:00 AM - We disembark and enter The Foundation Building. Built before passenger elevators, the brick building stands proud on the north end of Cooper Square. Inside, our tour guides greet us: two third year architecture Cooper Union students. We descend into The Great Hall. This is hallowed ground, architecturally and politically. The Great Hall, which seats the entire Cooper Union student body, was the site of the first public meeting of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. Later, it was a venue for the Lower East Side labor movement. Prominent writers, philosophers, and poets have stood in this room. Seven serving or future United States Presidents have spoken from the stage of this cavernous space. This includes Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama, the latter twice. It is true: standing in the same place where historic figures have also stood conjures a special awareness. The Great Hall is an impactful presence. In the quieter world of architectural education, The Cooper Union instills similar awe. Professor and Dean John Hejduk (1929-2000), with a battalion of equally gifted educators and practitioners, nurtured and cultivated this legendary curriculum for thirty-six years. The impact this curriculum has had on the broader landscape of American architectural education can’t be understated. The Cooper Union pursues the firm

conviction that the education of an architect is not simply about the technical. It is - maybe more importantly - also about the poetic, and, ultimately, how they are in relationship with one another. Hejduk's tradition continues, with a firm grounding in hand making during the first year as the point of origin to all creativity. The CHAD students tour the studios. They recognize their current work in the work of The Cooper Union students. They pepper The Cooper Union students with question after question as they listen and absorb the encouraging words offered. We depart. They are all shaking hands. 12:30 PM - We re-board the bus and ride uptown for lunch in Central Park. At 91st Street, we empty back onto the sidewalk. An app, Remind, enables us to remain in constant contact. Directions, instructions, and logistical updates are issued by cell phone texts. For lunch, students fan out and return an hour later. Remind helps ensure we return to Philadelphia with the same number of students as we departed (and the same students). Parents with the app follow from afar, sharing their child’s adventure. 2:00 PM - After lunch, we enter The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. The exhibits are always exceptional. There are both physical exhibits and a vast digital archive. The latter is accessed through a digital pen that allows every guest to tap into the collections and construct a ‘personal’ folio. The wallpaper room is a perennial hit. You can explore the collection through the digital table or create your own pattern, which is then projected onto the walls. The temporary exhibit, about the five senses, is particularly good and FUN, with lots of interactives. The highlight is the fur wall. It produces sounds based on where and how you touch (or tug) the shaggy surface. 4:00 PM - Through the Remind app, everyone is summoned outside the museum. We take group photos, and then round the corner to 90th street. We line up to enter The Cooper Hewitt Teen Design Fair. CHAD buttons are distributed for proud adornment (and to subtly announce our presence). The staff at the check in table see us approach, ‘Oh, CHAD is here!’ ‘Yes, we are!’ ‘Come right in!’


Swag bags are distributed and each student is given a colored wristband. We enter the enormous tent. This is CHAD’s fourth consecutive year attending The Cooper Hewitt Teen Design Fair. It is easily the best one yet. The Teen Design Fair has several elements. There is a college fair, with schools featuring art and design curriculums. There is a keynote speaker session, with questions from the audience (Tim Gunn last year!). And there is the main feature: a field of round tables, each with 8 to 10 chairs. At each table there is an awardwinning professional designer. Collectively, they represent every design field you can imagine. The other chairs? Those are for the students. With a new process to encourage more direct conversations, and eliminate wallflowers, students sit at tables in timed rotations, based on the colored wristbands. They meet the professional designers and learn about their careers through intimate conversations, like speed dating. Every student is always at a table, talking with and listening to the designer as questions are asked and futures are imagined. A rough estimate: there were about 250 students attending the event. CHAD’s troupe, therefore, accounted for about 20% of the attendees. They were impressive to watch, jumping in and seizing the opportunity to learn from pros about what they do, why they do, how they do. 6:00 PM - Back to the bus. On the way out, we pass near Times Square. The students campaign for a direct drive through. Then we dive back under the river and the bus coasts down the Turnpike in darkness. 8:30 PM - Wheels down. Outside their school, weary students pour out of the bus one last time. They disperse like sleepy butterflies, homeward to many of the 51 zip codes from which the community gathers every day, with visions of tomorrows to come. CHAD engages and educates Philadelphia students through the power of design thinking and introducing them to creative career opportunities. As CHAD approaches its 20th anniversary in 2019, please support our work as the flagship of K-12 design education. AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 9

BY JOHN ANDREW GALLERY with appreciation to Tom Crane, Jeffrey Totaro, Barry Halkin and Todd Mason Architectural photography was transformed by the technological innovations of the early 21st century. When Tom Crane began his career in 1967 as an assistant to Ezra Stoller—the pre-eminent architectural photographer of the mid-20th century—one of his tasks was to carry cartons of flash bulbs to the building whose interior Stoller was to photograph. While Stoller set up his 4X5 View Camera—the standard piece of equipment for architectural and many fine art photographers—Tom ran around arranging flash devices, inserting bulbs, and waiting for Stoller’s signal to set them off manually to provide the additional light Stoller wanted. When it was time for another shot, Tom ran around repeating the same process all over again. Taking a single shot was time consuming and labor intensive. When he finished Stoller took his film negative into the dark room and made a black and white print, with only the ability to adjust its lightness or darkness. Either he had the image he wanted or he didn’t. Fortunately, Stoller had a good eye and produced many great photographs. His documentation of Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal (Figure 1), for example, captures the sensuous beauty of the building in dramatic images. Although synchronized strobe lights eventually replaced flash bulbs, the 4X5 View Camera remained the primary tool for the architectural photographers who followed in the footsteps of Stoller and Julius Shulman, the other great pioneer of architectural photography. However, by around 2005 everything had changed. Gone was the 4X5 View Camera, gone was film, the darkroom, flash bulbs and strobe lights—even the assistant willing to work for low pay to learn the tricks of the trade hoping eventually to take away his teacher’s clients disappeared. Today’s architectural photographer is likely to show up at a building alone with a camera in one hand and tripod in the other and not much else. That image belies the fact that architectural photography today is a far more collaborative process than it was in the past. My first experience with architectural photography came in 1983 when I hired Peter Olson to take photographs for Philadelphia Architecture, A Guide to the City. (Peter’s outstanding photographs are now in a special collection at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.) Over the past decades I’ve hired others and selected images produced by many photographers for their clients. While I knew what I liked, I never took the time to understand what went into producing those photos. To improve my knowledge, I interviewed four of Philadelphia’s architectural photographers whose work I know best (and have used in the guidebook)—Tom Crane, Jeffrey Totaro, Barry Halkin and Todd Mason. Tom Crane is the “dean” of Philadelphia’s current architectural photographers. He got his start taking pictures of villages in Nigeria while in the Peace Corps. That portfolio of work and a family contact got him the job as Stoller’s assistant. After other work in New York, Tom

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Figure 1: TWA Terminal

moved to Philadelphia and opened his own studio in 1971. At the time Lawrence Williams was the only architectural photographer in town and had all the clients. (His archive of 240,000 photos is also in a special collection at the Athenaeum.) Although it was difficult for Tom to get started, over the course of his career he has photographed numerous buildings for many architects and was the exclusive photographer for Roger Moss’s three books on Philadelphia’s historic Houses, Landmarks, and Sacred Places. Jeff Totaro and Barry Halkin both came to photography after wanting to be architects (as did Stoller). Jeff began taking pictures in high school, and then received his degree in Architectural Engineering from Drexel, after which he worked for Ewing Cole. When he discovered the 4X5 View Camera in 1993 and found he could now take the kind of pictures he had dreamed of, he switched to photography full time. After working briefly for Tom, he opened his own studio in 1996. Barry studied architecture at Ohio State University and several other schools, but he was most attracted to the work of visionary architects like Buckminster Fuller and Paolo Soleri—he even lived briefly in a geodesic dome and worked at Soleri’s utopian project, Arcosanti, in




Figure 2: Ivy Club at Princeton

Arizona. However, he was less interested in conventional architecture and so switched to photography. He is primarily self-taught, although he also worked briefly for Tom; he opened his own studio in 1980 when there were still very few specialized architectural photographers. Todd Mason had the most conventional background in photography of the four. He graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts intending to be a fine art photographer. His interest in landscapes eventually led him to buildings and the feeling that he could be more successful with a focus on architecture. Todd and Barry have been working together for over ten years and formed the Halkin/ Mason partnership in 2013. All four photographers started their careers with the 4X5 View Camera. Architectural photographers were slow to switch to digital because the early digital cameras could not produce the same quality images as the 4X5 camera. However, by the early 2000’s that had changed and all moved over to digital, retraining themselves in not only the technology of the new cameras but also the capabilities of Photoshop, the second essential tool for today’s architectural photographer. Digital images and Photoshop allow photographers to layer multiple exposures into a single image. There is generally no need for artificial lighting, no need to be concerned about the balance of different light sources or unwanted objects, all of which can be adjusted or removed in Photoshop. Nor is there a need to worry about showing up on a cloudy day; a blue sky can be imported from another image as can people or other objects. This combination of hardware and software revolutionized architectural photography. For all four photographers the process of producing an image begins and ends with collaboration. Each values the direct participation of the architect either in a scouting trip or at the actual shoot. This allows the architect to explain the intention of the design, point out key features, and discuss the shots he or she has in mind. It also allows the photographer and client to see why some shots might not work, to judge the best time of day (or night) to capture specific qualities of the building and to evaluate logistical issues. Architectural photography is

Figure 3: Ivy Club at Princeton

about producing a useable product; the challenge for the photographer is to figure out how to convey a three dimensional object in two dimensional terms that allows people who may never see the actual building to appreciate its qualities and character. Almost all architectural photographs today are composites of multiple images brought together in Photoshop. Here is where the second aspect of collaboration comes in. Those multiple images are turned over to a person I call the Photoshop Whiz—someone who knows the full technical capabilities of Photoshop. While Jeff has trained himself to be his own Photoshop Whiz, he still occasionally uses a technical consultant, as do all the others. Finding someone who understands your approach is critical, and once you’ve found that person it becomes a partnership you stick with. Barry and Todd have their own in-house technical staff to insure the consistent high quality of their work. Tom’s photograph of the interior of the Ivy Club at Princeton for Porphyrios Associates is a case study in the technical aspects of digital photography. (Figure 2) What looks like one image is actually two: to get a full view of the whole room, both floor and ceiling, one shot was taken of the bottom half and another of the top and seamlessly stitched together in Photoshop. The image itself is composed of ten separate bracketed exposures—an unusually large number, most photos being composed of three or four exposures. This allows different exposures to capture both the light shining through the back window as well as the light on the ceiling. It allows Tom to stand on a ladder holding a curtain to shade the light only to disappear in the final image, while a portrait that was actually in another room magically appears over the fireplace. (Figure 3) The final result looks so natural it’s hard to believe that it’s a technological invention.

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Figure 5: Hoover Mason Trestle


Figure 4: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Figure 6: DSU Optical Science Center

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Figure 7: Cheesecake Factory

However, in spite of the importance of technology and the many things it can do to enhance an image, in the final analysis, what makes a really distinctive architectural photograph are the same two qualities that made Stoller’s photos distinctive: composition and light. While that sounds simple, it isn’t. Composition involves decisions about the proper vantage point, what to include or exclude, juxtaposition of elements, and whether to shoot close in or at a distance. Light includes questions of color, time of day, shadows and sunlight. The ability to balance these many competing issues is what produces an outstanding result, as the four photographs to the left illustrate. Tom’s photo of Claes Oldenburg’s Paintbrush (Figure 4) downplays the relationship to Frank Furness’ Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in order to include the City Hall tower in the composition. By doing so it gives the sculpture a sense of place most Philadelphian’s would immediately recognize. Taking the photo from eye-level on the sidewalk emphasizes the dramatic diagonal projection of the paintbrush against the vertical lines of architectural elements, and gives it a sense of scale and power through the relationship to both the small scale of the people walking by and the big scale of the City Hall tower. Barry’s photograph of the Hoover Mason Trestle by Wallace Roberts Todd (Figure 5) achieves the quality of a formal portrait through its direct view of the building. The combination of the almost purple color of the sky at dusk, the red of the stacks and the bright white on the stair, creates a striking image that moves past simple documentation to a photograph that to me is as vivid and compelling as a great painting. Todd’s photograph of the DSU Optical Science Center by Richard + Bauer (Figure 6) shows the potential of the opposite time of day and the importance of being there at the right moment. For a very brief period of time at dawn, the sunrise sheds a pink light on the panels of the façade in contrast to the dark morning sky. At first, this doesn’t appear to even be a photo of a building; it could simply be a wall. But the underside reveals that the building is triangular in shape. Taking

the photograph at the apex of the triangle makes the building almost disappear as a volume and creates a dramatic image of the façade against the receding background. Jeff’s photograph of the Cheesecake Factory by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (Figure 7) is another example of a special vision and the right timing. Glass buildings can be difficult to photograph; during the day reflected light can often make a glass façade seem as opaque as solid masonry. Rather than trying to shoot the building in the conventional way, with light on the building, Jeff chose the opposite approach: to photograph it when the light was on the surrounding buildings and their facades reflected in the glass. The result is a dazzling photo that dematerializes the actual building and produces a provocative photograph that could only have been taken at a particular moment in time. Each of these images suggests one final ingredient in making a great architectural photograph. Some photographers and many architects come to a building with a specific idea of the shots they think will be most distinctive. However, what these photographs show is that the key to a great photo is not to come with a preconceived idea, but rather to be open to what you find at the moment—the unusual light of dawn or dusk, a special position—for in the end, all great photographs are the result of a special kind of vision that each of these four photographs admirably demonstrates. n John Andrew Gallery is the author of Philadelphia Architecture, A Guide to the City and was the Executive Director of the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

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Northwest corner of 10th and Market, 1951 functional and welcoming.


BY TIMOTHY KERNER, AIA Photography challenges our notions of what we consider subjective and objective. A photograph is not like a painting, which is made in accordance with an individual’s subjective view. In contrast, we take photographs and commonly consider them as objective slices of reality. When looking through historic photos – meaning all photos – we consider them as truthful representations of a particular place at a particular time. We can imagine ourselves there. However, the photographic image is dependent upon all the subtle choices of framing, viewpoint, timing, lighting, focal length and, of course, the content itself. As much as they are representations of reality, photographs are a reflection of the photographer’s individual perceptions and are inherently subjective. When comparing the images of three prolific mid-century photographers, we find more than stylistic differences between their large bodies of work. The photographs reveal disparate understandings of the relationships between people and their urban surroundings. Lawrence S. Williams, Jacob Stelman and John W. Mosley each took

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many thousands of photographs across the middle decades of the twentieth century and their divergent views reflect the subjectivity of the photographers as well as those for whom they produced their images. To say America experienced enormous change from the forties to the sixties is an obvious understatement. International attention progressed from the victorious World War to the agonizing Cold War to the divisive Vietnam War. Nationally, the country endured the long struggle over racial oppression while an increasing dependence on the automobile accompanied the widespread migration from cities to the suburbs. Philadelphia experienced its own transformations during these decades as an entrenched political machine gave way to a reform movement led by Mayors Clarke and Dilworth. Accompanying these dramatic changes were widespread urban renewal efforts orchestrated by the nationally renowned City Planner, Edmund Bacon, whose lofty, fifty-year plan was for Philadelphia to become




“an unmatched expression of the vitality of American technology and culture.”1 Lawrence S. Williams (1917-2016) arrived in Philadelphia in 1945 after serving as a correspondent for the War Department. He began working as a freelance photographer in 1951 and was hired by Ed Bacon to document the broad transformations of the city, including the removal of the Chinese Wall – the railway viaduct that divided Center City – and construction of Penn Center. This commission brought him in contact with Vincent Kling, the lead architect of Penn Center, and he was soon photographing all of the firm’s buildings. Further commissions included the work of Frank Lloyd Wright; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; I. M. Pei, and Mies van der Rohe. As the official photographer of the city’s modernization, Williams was in constant search for the all-encompassing view, often climbing onto rooftops and sometimes flying in helicopters in this pursuit. He once blocked Center City traffic with an RV so he could stand on its roof to shoot a new high rise above the distractions of the streetscape. His exploits pushed the limits of the law and he was fond of saying, “You don’t ask permission first, you just do it.”2 His photographs reflect the modernist visions of his architect clients as well as Bacon’s intent to create “powerful lines of movement” that would connect the city and unite the populace.3

Figure 2: Hospitality Center, 1962

A modernist eye is also apparent in Williams’s twilight shot of the Hospitality Center (figure 2), known today as the Welcome Center and currently undergoing an extensive restoration by KieranTimberlake. With the exception of a lone figure sitting in the shadows, people are absent from the shot, increasing the focus on the structure’s geometric purity. The illuminated disc hovers above the transparent walls like a suspended spacecraft and City Hall’s tower just manages to moor the image to its location. When the work on the Welcome Center is complete – including a lighting installation by Haddad|Drugan – the futurist vision of this midcentury scene will be restored to its former splendor. In contrast to Lawrence’s modernist photographs, are the images of Jacob Stelman (1905-1974), who focused on the activity of the city’s busy streets. His clients were the merchants and business owners who depended on the public to purchase their goods. Their interest lay in documenting the powers of attraction that the stores and signage exerted on the passersby. Stelman did not try to simplify his urban views; his photographs captured all the messy vitality and contradictory messages that made up the streetscape.

Figure 1: City Hall and Penn Center, 1956

Lawrence’s images are an important record of the city’s transformation and their broad views coincide with the privileged, centralized perspective of the twentieth century city planner. The photo of Penn Center from the Masonic Temple roof (figure 1) presents a striking view of urban modernization. The new 1501 Market Street occupies the middle of the frame and the steel grid of 1701 Market rises ethereally in the background. Framing these structures are the darkly ornate, masses of City Hall to the left and the Masonic Temple to the right. The strong perspective accentuates Penn Center’s “lines of movement” and the framing emphasizes the promised progress from the dark past to a bright future. The image reflects the modernist broad-scale urban vision; the buildings are the focus while the streetscape and people fade into the distance. As Williams stated, “I don’t photograph people, I photograph things.”4

Figure 3: Adam Hats, NE corner of 13th and Market Streets, 1951

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Here is Center City as the region’s unquestioned retail capital. The signage is bold, brash and forcefully communicative. Bacon’s unifying movement is nowhere apparent as pedestrians stride the streets along disbursed paths, each responding to the diffusion of messages. These photos convey the active interconnection between people and their urban surroundings and the city’s vibrancy prior to the imminent departure of businesses, people and commerce to the suburbs. The sign-emblazoned streets could be understood as early inspiration for Robert Venturi’s challenge to modernist principles two decades later: “Complex programs and settings require complex combinations of media…They suggest an architecture of bold communication rather than one of subtle expression.”5 Stelman’s emphasis on signage, communication and the complexity of human interaction corresponds to the later concerns of post-modernism in contrast to the formal purity and unifying movement that were Bacon’s goal and Williams’s pursuit.

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Figure 5: Philadelphia Transit Company protest, 1943

The photograph of the Horn and Hardart at Reading Terminal (figure 4) show the city at night when architecture dissolves and the illuminated signage defines the setting. People gather in the pools of light and the great edifice above is only noticeable because of the two glowing windows of a late night worker. Despite LeCorbusier’s convictions, geometric clarity has no relevance to city nightlife. Media is the only message. The photographs of John W. Mosely (1907-1969) offer a very different range of views and commentary regarding the relation between people and their city during these same decades. Working within the confines of institutionalized segregation, Mosley served as the preeminent photographer of middle-class Black life. Mosley moved to Philadelphia from North Carolina in 1934 and soon established his professional reputation. He became the official photographer for the Pyramid Club, “the epitome of African-American cultural, social and civic life,”6 and photographed events from New York to Washington for newspapers such as the Philadelphia Tribune and the Pittsburgh Courier. In addition to documenting the lives of everyday Philadelphians, he managed to photograph nearly every famous African-American who inhabited or visited the city including artists, athletes, politicians, musicians, and literary figures. Over his thirty-year career, Mosley documented the prolonged struggle for civil rights. In these photos, the people and their shared pursuit are the focus, the street is a field of contention and the buildings form the background. The 1943 photo of the Philadelphia Transit Company protest is a compelling example (figure 5). Mosley’s view manages to focus on the humanity of the marchers while also conveying their broad numbers. They are protesting the company’s refusal to hire Black drivers and their signs deliver two convincing messages: Racism and Fascism are related and if African-Americans are driving tanks in the war, they should certainly be allowed to drive trolleys in the city.


Figure 4: Horn & Hardart, Reading Terminal, 1950


The company relented and promoted eight African-American employees to serve as drivers. Sadly, the other transit employees then went on strike to protest this decision, shutting down the system and preventing workers from commuting to the wartime ammunition factories. The crisis ended when President Roosevelt sent in 5,000 armed troops to force the strikers back to work, the first time since the 1800s that the federal government intervened to support the rights of Black workers. This narrative of widespread racism is disturbing to contemplate, but the photographs confirm the story. As Roland Barthes wrote in Camera Lucida, “…we have a certain invincible resistance to believing in the past…The photograph for the first time puts an end to this resistance: henceforth the past is as certain as the present…It is the advent of the Photograph…which divides the history of the World.”7 Two decades later, Mosley documented the continuous sevenmonth protest to open Girard College to Black students. His photos portray large crowds cheering the speeches of Martin Luther King and Cecil B. Moore. A different atmosphere was caught in the photo below (figure 6). The rain has come and the crowd has dispersed with the exception of a small group of protesters who are maintaining the effort. Founders Hall sets the context, with its classical architecture conveying the contradictory messages of democracy, power and exclusion. The low angle of Mosley’s shot and the long reflections in the wet street emphasize the height and dignity of the protesters. The umbrella highlights the chanting young man in the foreground and the photograph captures his companions at mid-clap. The rows of barricades tell of the departed crowds and at the very back of the view, behind the iron fence, is a gathering of police. The photo’s skillful timing and composition draw us into the moment and the complexity of its suspended drama. Mosley’s photographs powerfully convey individual and collective efforts towards racial equality. Because the issue is a social concern, people are the focus while the buildings recede. But the city does not disappear, it is the context for the conflict and the architecture is representative of both the powers of oppression as well as the societal structure the people are fighting to join. We live in a media-saturated world and images of every manner are in constant motion across our ubiquitous screens, blending with daily life as we watch with mixed detachment. When we actually stop to consider the still photo, something else can occur. As Susan Sontag points out, the halt of time is one of photography’s most distinctive aspects: “Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt…Photographs may be more memorable than moving images, because they are a neat slice of time, not a flow.”8 Photographs are frozen impressions of the external world but, as we have seen, the images are not objective portrayals of a universal reality. Williams, Stelman and Mosley provide contrasting narratives of mid-century Philadelphia that reflect their subjective views as well as those of the societal groups to which they belonged. The city’s

Figure 6: Girard College protest, 1965

architecture holds contradictory meanings within these narratives but these meanings all have elements of truth. With its presentation of subjective truth, photography dispels the illusion that there is just one form of reality. There are, in fact, as many realities as there are people and as many cities as there are citizens. n Timothy A. Kerner, AIA is a Principal of Terra Studio, LLC and teaches architecture and urban design at Temple University. The photographs printed with this article are held in the Lawrence S. Williams Collection and the Jacob Stelman Collection, both at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the John W. Mosley Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries. Citations: 1.

Edmund N. Bacon, Philadelphia in the Year 2009, reprint of 1959 article in Imagining Philadelphia, Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City, ed. Scott Gabriel Knowles, 2009, p. 10


Lawrence S. Williams, Lecture at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 2003, accessed at: http://www.philaathenaeum.org/Williams/lecture. html


Edmund N. Bacon, Urban Design as a Force in Comprehensive Planning. Journal of American Institute of Planners. Vol. 29, Issue 1, February 1963


Williams. op. cit.


Robert Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas, 1972, edition cited: 2001, p. 9


Charles L. Blockson, The Journey of John W. Mosley, 1992, p. 9


Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida, 1980, edition cited: 2010, p. 88


Susan Sontag, On Photography, 1973, edition cited: 1990, pp. 15-17

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PHOTO ARTS FOR PHILLY TEENS MICHELLE WALLACE AND LORI WASELCHUCK Teen Photo is a free after-school program offered by the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. It is open to any Philadelphia public high school student. Students receive eight months of photography training and access to PPAC’s equipment and materials. Each student is assigned a DSLR for the entire school year, enabling significant time to hone their skills and develop a visual language. In class, students learn how to "read" photographs and build new technical skills. The program integrates technical assignments, field trips, bookmaking projects, and the opportunity to exhibit and sell their work. Through photography, students learn to think critically and creatively and can apply these skills to navigate their own experiences. Through their photographs, students share ideas about their lives. They gain confidence in understanding their own perspective, begin to question representation in the arts and media and learn to navigate social media in healthier ways. The Teen Photo experience can open a love of learning and help the students grow in every aspect of their academic and personal lives.

New perspectives of Philadelphia emerge as students develop their photographic eye. They start to understand the ways they inhabit and move through the city. Their work often begins with their own memories of neighborhoods, shops, parks and other public spaces and these memories evolve and deepen through photographic exploration. Their focus on the surroundings allows them to reflect on their relationships with the city’s architecture and the urban environment. They explore their personal observations of the external world and how these have changed through their childhood and adolescence. They capture the commotion, the setting and all the subtle and dramatic intonations of our city. They find peaceful and delicate moments in unexpected locations and surprising views of familiar places. The following nine photos are a small selection of the amazing range of images that are produced at Teen Photo. They are youthful views of Philadelphia; a city that is vast and full of possibilities.


18 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

My goal was to bring light to a perspective of our world that is often overlooked. Most people throughout their day don't take the time to simply look up and appreciate what's above them, as we often preoccupy ourselves with other things in our daily lives. – Marquis Bennett


I intended to show a view of the Philadelphia skyline that is more unique than what is usually seen. By exploring both active and abandoned buildings, I have found many different perspectives of my city. This has made me appreciate Philadelphia's skyline and the rest of the city more. – Ian Holbrook


I have always been interested in buildings, and especially those abandoned. Many people see abandoned buildings as dirty eyesores, but I see them as places of beauty. By taking photos I can show others these places the way I see them. – Ian Holbrook

I intended to capture the contrast between the tree and the building but the image turned out better than I expected. The green leaves really popped and there is a sense of completeness that I didn't expect. – Sijia Zheng

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This photo was shot in a neighborhood that people before wouldn’t want to live in, but now they are building expensive apartments… it’s strange. However when I was taking this picture I wasn’t thinking of any of this, I just really wanted to show the worker and how high he was, incorporating the sky and yellow tones. – Leila Ibrahim


When new houses go up in my neighborhood they seem cold and unwelcoming, which I tried to capture in this photo. This building doesn't look like a home to me and in 100 years it will be just a pile of plywood. – Kate McDowell

I took this shot because it gave no context and I hoped that people would look at the building in a way they never had before. Every time someone looks at this picture and is shocked to discover the subject, it makes me very happy. – Kate McDowell


20 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

I saw this man hanging out of his window so of course I had to take a photo! But once I started taking pictures he immediately jumped into his room, I’ve never seen anyone move so fast! I sort of feel bad about that but it’s a shot I love. – Leila Ibrahim


This photo was not planned whatsoever. We were walking around the area trying to get in some last minute shots and as we passed this staircase I just took the picture without really looking. After seeing the results I finally felt like a real photographer and it really sent me on my journey. – Leila Ibrahim

Michelle Wallace is the Youth Education Assistant and Lori Waselchuk is the Exhibitions and Programs Coordinator at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center. They are both noted photographers whose work has been published and exhibited nationally and abroad.

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EXPRESSION Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography. – George Eastman (1854 - 1932) In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. – Alfred Stieglitz (1864 - 1946) The decision as to when to photograph, the actual click of the shutter, is partly controlled from the outside, by the flow of life, but it also comes from the mind and the heart of the artist…and expresses, however subtly, his values and convictions. – Paul Strand (1890 - 1976) Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. – Dorothea Lange (1895 - 1965) Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs. – Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984) It's easy to photograph light reflecting from a surface, the truly hard part is capturing the light in the air. – Walker Evans (1903 - 1975) 22 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

Photography is space, light, texture, of course, but the really important element is time—that nanosecond when the image organizes itself on the ground glass. – Ezra Stoller (1915 - 2004) The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind. – Diane Arbus (1923 - 1971) Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed. – Garry Winogrand (1928 - 1984) Photographers have to impose order, bring structure to what they photograph. It is inevitable. A photograph without structure is like a sentence without grammar-it is incomprehensible, even inconceivable. – Stephen Shore (1947 - ) However fake the subject, once photographed, it's as good as real. – Hiroshi Sugimoto (1948 - ) I wish that all of nature's magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed. – Annie Leibovitz (1949 - ) AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 23


DESIGN AWARDS 2018 found the celebration of the best in Philadelphia architecture back at the Kimmel Center. The Perelman Theater served as the perfect backdrop for honoring individuals and architecture firms for excellence in design and contributions to the architecture community.


The Young Architect Award, presented by AIA Philadelphia's Steering Committee of Fellows, seeks to recognize a candidate's contribution to the categories of leadership, practice and service. Jordan M. Mrazik, AIA, a graduate of Virginia Tech where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture, Mr. Mrazik’s young career spans a wide range of activities from designer and project architect to mentor and educator. He is a newly named associate at KSS Architects has served as an ACE mentor. As a designer, his work has been recognized through awards such as the 2017 AIA Pennsylvania Social Impact Design Award. In regard to his selection, the jury noted, "The Jury was not only impressed with his achievements... but also with his multi-faceted interests and skillsets which include a commitment to mentoring young designers, his collaborative artistic and literary skills and his commitment to the practice. His qualifications are quite remarkable and his future very promising indeed."

The Philadelphia Emerging Architect Award, is awarded annually to recognize an emerging architecture firm producing high-quality design and thinking within the Philadephia region SHIFTSPACE, established in 2009, SHIFTSPACE is a Philadelphia-based design studio focused on the interplay of architecture and industrial design. Led by Mario Gentile, founder/CEO, and Tim Barnes, creative director, the multidisciplinary team engages with brands, institutions, and cities to complete projects at varying scales. Their work ranges from largescale urban interventions and creative placemaking to architecture and furniture. A process-driven studio, all SHIFTSPACE projects, independent of scale, begin with a discovery phase that outlines both client-specific goals and potential studio explorations. Examples of their work in Philadelphia include the lobby space of Pyramid Electric Lofts in Brewerytown and the green roof and custom architectural fixtures at Urban Outfitters Headquarters in the Navy Yard. The Paul Philippe Cret Award recognizes individuals or organizations who are not architects but who have made an outstanding and lasting contribution to the design of buildings, structures, landscapes, and the public realm of Greater Philadelphia.

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Susan Weiler, FASLA, Partner at OLIN, has risen to prominence in the field of landscape architecture as a designer, speaker, teacher, and writer. She is the lead author of Green Roof Systems: A Guide for the Planning, Design and Construction of Landscapes over Structure, a primary resource on the topic of green roof design. She has applied her expertise in interfacing with complex engineering systems and construction technologies over more than thirty years to projects like the U.S. Embassy in Berlin; Mission Bay Master Planning and development in San Francisco; and the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City. In Philadelphia, her work includes multiple campus plans at the University of Pennsylvania, and sitespecific work at the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden, and Dilworth Park.


The Volunteer of the Year Award, is presented annually to a member of the Chapter that volunteers their time through membership on the board or a committee and makes a positive impact on Chapter activites. Troy Hannigan, Assoc. AIA, is program director at Community Ventures, a non-profit affordable housing developer partnering with local communities to create sustainable and affordable opportunities, and has been working in various aspects of architecture and affordable housing development since 2009. Troy has been an active member of the AIA since 2009 and has served on the AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors since 2014 and as Treasurer since August 2015. As AIA Philadelphia Chapter Treasurer, Troy will also serve as the Treasurer for the Center / Architecture + Design.

The Community Design Award, recognizes one pro bono preliminary design project complete by the Community Design Collaborative each year for excellence in design, collaboration, and community impact. This year's winning project is the Parkside Association of Philadelphia Conceptual Design for a Sports Facility. This project is a conceptual design for a new sports and learning facility to meet regional and community needs. The proposed center includes facilities for basketball, swimming, and track and field - as well as a fitness center, classrooms, and community space. The project will restore street frontage on historic Parkside Avenue and reactivate a key neighborhood corridor along West Fairmount Park. The proposed site is a key location to enhance recent investment in the Centennial District's park facilities, schools, and museums

The Alan Greenberger Award, is presented annually to recognize Community Design Collaborative leaders for their commitments and service to our mission.

The John Frederick Harbeson Award, is presented annually to a longstanding member of the architectural community and is intended to recognize significant contributions to the architectural profession made over their lifetime.

Jeffrey Brummer, AIA, founding principal of Jeffrey Brummer Architects and long-time Community Design Collaborative volunteer, Jeffrey Brummer has donated over 500 hours of volunteer service to benefit neighborhoods throughout the city. His leadership in the Collaborative’s biggest design-build project to date—a one day “blitz build” with AEC-Cares during the 2016 AIA National Convention to renovate the Philadelphia Athletic Center in Sharswood and the two most recent Collaborative PARK(ing) Day projects helped raise awareness about design-build programming and professional development opportunities for volunteers of the Collaborative. Mr. Brummer is also devoted to economic development blending his private practice with the Collaborative’s economic development design services where he advises businesses making storefront façade improvements on commercial corridors in Overbrook, Centro De Oro, Wynnefield, and Port Richmond.

David Hollenberg, AIA, Architect at University of Pennsylvania, has dedicated his entire professional career to preserving Philadelphia’s rich architectural heritage as an educator at University of Pennsylvania and practitioner at John Milner Associates. Some of his more notable projects include the Fairmount Water Works, Reading Terminal Headhouse, Lit Brothers Department Store, and the John Wanamaker Building. In 2006, Hollenberg moved on to serve as University Architect at the University of Pennsylvania through his retirement in June 2018. On learning of his selection for this award, Hollenberg said: “[Harbeson’s] extraordinary and resonant career as an educator, architect, and public citizen exemplifies what I and so many colleagues in our wonderful city’s extraordinary design community continually aspire to be…I am deeply touched to be this year’s recipient and want to thank Philadelphia AIA from the bottom of my heart.”

AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 25


Photos: Sam Oberter

The project site contained a series of existing industrial buildings, many of which had substantial contamination and structural issues. Townhouses finished the block, with parking tucked behind, encouraging reactivation of nearby vacant and underutilized sites, and returning blighted streets to service. CLIENT D3 Development / PRDC Properties PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis, Electrical Engineer: Advanced Engineering Inc., General Contractor: D3 Development, Additional Consultants: Ruggerio Plant Land Design, ReVireo

26 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

Photos: Richard Bryant / Arcaidimages.com


The US State Department envisioned a new embassy in London that would serve as the centerpiece of one of America’s longest-standing and most valued relationships. By combining transparency, strength, security, and sustainability, the Embassy’s physical form aligns with the United States’ diplomatic mission, helping to define a new environment for diplomacy while mapping a passage toward a new diplomacy of the environment. CLIENT US Department of State PROJECT TEAM U.S. Lead Contractor: BL Harbert International, U.K. Lead Subcontractor: Sir Robert McAlpine, Construction Manager - Modular: Moderna Homes, Landscape Architect: OLIN, Interior Designer: Gensler, Structural and Physical, Security Engineer: Thorton Tomasetti, MEP, Civil, Facade and Sustainability Engineer: ARUP, Lighting Consultant: Fisher Marantz Stone, Cost Consultant: AECOM, Photography: Richard Bryant / Arcaidimages.com, Photography: Jason Hawkes AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 27


Playing with the notion of the Wunderkammer, the art wall introduces differently-shaped boxes for the display of antique gardening tools either individually or in group. The boxes deploy unique environments, evoking the connection between the tools and the human hands required for their making and use. Overall the wall serves as an ordering device, classifying and displaying a collection of objects in the boxes, as much as endowing the old gallery enclosure with a new layer of rationality. CLIENT Land Collective Photo: Sahar Coston-Hardy

PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: CVM Engineers, General Contractor: CVMNext Construction


The Walnut Street Estates mediates form, height, materiality and design concept. The project’s masonry and glass exterior is articulated with a delicate brick solar screen who’s proportions and color reference the contemporary influence to the east, while the underlying building form, height and mass of the project echo scale and tonality of Bookbinders to the west. CLIENT Kellytown Development, LLC PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: Penn Fusion, Electrical Engineer: Wick Fisher White, Mechanical Engineer: Wick Fisher White, Additional Photo: Halkin | Mason Photography

Consultants: Poulson & Associates, Stantec

OZARK PODIUM DIGSAU HONOR AWARD - UNBUILT CATEGORY Bentonville, AR is projected to experience a population increase of 75% over the next 20 years. City planning goals prioritize encouraging diversity and thoughtful growth, maintaining the welcoming character of the community, and providing attainable housing for the people who work there. Ozark Podium proposes a medium density affordable housing model that uses simple building forms at multiple scales to integrate new development into the “small-town character” of the Bentonville neighborhood fabric. CLIENT RopeSwing Hospitality Group Rendering: DIGSAU

28 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

JEFFERSON HEALTH CHERRY HILL EwingCole HONOR AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY The new Jefferson Health lobby, ambulatory building and garage were designed to provide the hospital with the beginning of a new modernized, cutting edge facility that will support its high-quality care and establish its place as one of the leading health care providers in the region. CLIENT Jefferson Health PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: EwingCole, Electrical Engineer: EwingCole, Mechanical Engineer: EwingCole, General Contractor: The Norwood Company, Landscape Engineer: Cairone and Kaupp, Civil Engineer: Landdimensions Engineering, Parking Engineer/Consultant, Elevator Consultant: Mark Zipf, Equipment Consultant: Cornerstone

Photo: Halkin | Mason Photography

TINY TOWER ISA - Interface Studio Architects LLC HONOR AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood is revitalizing, with many new buildings infilling lots left vacant by decades of disinvestment. Urban dwellers are increasingly willing to trade quantity of space for quality. Living in a small unit in a vibrant, walkable neighborhood is more desirable than a larger home in a far flung location. Tiny Tower serves as a prototype for flexible use buildings on small urban lots. CLIENT Callahan Ward PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis, Electrical Engineer: J&M Engineering, Mechanical Engineer: J&M Engineering, General Contractor: Callahan Ward, Additional Consultants: EnMotion Design

Photo: Sam Oberter

SUMERS RECREATION CENTER Bohlin Cywinski Jackson HONOR AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY (PRESERVATION) The new Sumers Recreation Center re-purposes and adds 66,000 square feet to WashU’s historic Francis Gymnasium, creating a gateway to a comprehensive recreation and sports complex. The revitalization of the southwest corner of the Danforth campus offers the entire community a place to exercise, play, and socialize. CLIENT Washington University PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: KPFF, Electrical Engineer: McClure Engineering, Mechanical Engineering: McClure Engineering, General Contractor: BSI Constructors, Code Consulting: Buro Happold Consulting Engineers PC

Photo: Peter Aaron

AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 29

LIV BIRMINGHAM Erdy McHenry MERIT AWARD - UNBUILT CATEGORY This project, set in Great Britain’s post-industrial city of Birmingham, is a bellwether project that addresses issues of food security while raising social consciousness of both local and global sustainability. The building is an oasis for food-security research and innovation, pooling the resources of local universities and the optimism of students to define a new model of apartment living. CLIENT VALEOGroup PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti, Architect of Record: AXIS Architecture + Design Management, Landscape Architect: TPM Rendering: Erdy McHenry

BALLETX HQ ISA - Interface Studio Architects LLC MERIT AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY (INTERIORS) BalletX chose to locate their headquarters away from the institutional center of the art scene on Washington Avenue, a corridor transitioning from a truck-oriented industrial and commercial throroughfare that divided neighborhoods to a more socially connected neighborhood center. BalletX HQ is home to the largest dance floor in Philadelphia. CLIENT BalletX PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis, Electrical Engineering: J&M Engineering, Mechanical Engineering: J&M Engineering: General Photo: Sam Oberter

Contractor: Reed Street Builders: Additional Consultants: D3 Development, LLC

HIGH HORSE RANCH KieranTimberlake MERIT AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY Accessible only by winding gravel roads, the site for High Horse Ranch in California’s Mendocino County is full of steep slopes and open meadows. The main house was built using modular, off-site construction and is organized around a central living-dining-kitchen pavilion used for socializing and a more private bedroom-study pavilion. CLIENT Private PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: CVM, Construction Manager: Buckeye Construction, Construction Manager - Modular: Moderna Homes, MEP/Fire Protection Engineer: Engineering 360, Civil Engineer: Adobe Photo: Tim Griffith

Associates, Inc, Lighting: Sean O'Connor Lighting, Photography: Tim Griffith, Photography: Kyle Jeffers

30 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

INCYTE CORPORATION HEADQUARTERS EXPANSION Granum A/I MERIT AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY Incyte Corporation, a rapidly growing biopharmaceutical company, wished to expand on their current site where they had developed strong ties to the community and enjoyed the unique character of their existing building, a former department store which they had converted to office and research facilities. CLIENT Incyte Corporation PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: A.W. Lookup, Electrical Engineer: AKF, Mechanical Engineer: AKF, General Contractor: The WhitingTurner Contracting Company, Additional Consultants: Timothy Haahs & Associates, Andropogon Associates, Duffield Associates,

Photo: Jeffrey Totaro

Roofmeado, The Lighting Practice

STUDENT COMMONS & RESEARCH CENTER MGA MERIT AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY The Shipley School, founded in 1894 as a girls’ residential college preparatory, has become a highly respected co-educational day school. To shape a formal Campus Green, and give a central place to the campus of buildings with much needed social and academic spaces, the design team replaced a bulky mid-century addition with a crisp addition to Old Main and added a new Student Commons. CLIENT The Shipley School PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: Keast & Hood, Electrical Engineer: HF Lenz, Mechanical Engineer: HF Lenz, General Contractor: WS Cumby Photo: Halkin | Mason Photography

WP POINT DIGSAU MERIT AWARD - BUILT CATEGORY Fenneman Lodge and Event Hall at WP Point are the primary points of contact for donors and distinguished guests visiting The Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, a major scouting site operated by the Boy Scouts of America. WP Point is a prominent overlook that forms a natural observation point, providing a panoramic view of the grounds. CLIENT Boy Scouts of America PROJECT TEAM Structural Engineer: CVM Engineers, Electrical Engineer: Alderson Engineering, Mechanical Engineer: Alderson Engineering, General Contractor: Swope Construction Company, Landscape Architect: Andropogon, Civil Engineer: Mead & Associates, Additional

Photo: Todd Mason, Halkin | Mason Photography

Consultants: Wilson Consulting, Halkin Mason Photography AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 31


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Visit invisiwall-info.com to learn more. Email: sales@invisiwall-info.com or Call: 609.440.8079

Host an Event Design the perfect event, whether public or private

AIA Philadelphia Members Receive a 10% Discount off the Rental Space AIA Philadelphia Firm Members Receive a 25% Discount off the Rental Space


AIA Philadelphia | context | WINTER 2019 33

INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF DESIGNERS Volunteer for the Architecture in Education program Hands-on STEAM workshops that: •

Introduce the design process to K-12 students.

Teach students about possible career paths in a design field

Teach a class using a 4-week predesigned kit or work in partnership with classroom teachers to develop a custom 4-8 week curriculum

For more information contact David Bender, Associate Director at david@philadelphiacfa.org

Rediscover the Many Benefits of Concrete Block. Structural Design and Consulting Towson, MD

State College, PA


Single Wythe Concrete Masonry is not only innovative, it’s also fire safe, affordable and beautiful. Visit our online Design Resource Center for the very latest in masonry design information - videos, BIM resources, design notes, and CAD and Revit® tools. YOUR LOCAL CONCRETE PRODUCTS GROUP PRODUCER:


34 WINTER 2019 | context | AIA Philadelphia

Professional Contractors, Resources, and Education for All Interior & Exterior Glass Applications Resources: Project Case Studies | Glazier Spotlights Devil’s Details Technical Articles Demountable Interior Glass Partition Guide


info@theagi.org | 215.825.1422 |

Don’t Miss: Architectural Glass Boot Camp for hands-on training & education plus AIA/CES credit. “This program offered a depth of knowledge and reality beyond any other course I have taken.” - architect participant



Our program prepares you with the fundamental skills needed to successfully develop healthy communities through case study analysis and practical, hands-on learning. On campus and online courses are offered. A limited number of scholarships are available. Now accepting applications for Fall 2019 Call 215-951-2943 EastFalls.Jefferson.edu/RED

Profile for AIA Philadelphia

CONTEXT - Winter 2019  

This issue of Context explores the relationshop between photography and architecture.

CONTEXT - Winter 2019  

This issue of Context explores the relationshop between photography and architecture.