Community Design Collaborative [#090 Special Insert]

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Waterloo Rebosante Competition Team:

Roofmeadow (co-lead), Studio Ludo (co-lead), Space for Childhood

Design Team Statement: Waterloo is bustling with activity, brimming with life, overflowing with joy. We believe that the energy of the Norris Square community is the reason that the Waterloo Recreation Center exists today. Given its history, nothing is more important than the care, devotion and life that neighbors have already infused into this place. As we reimagine the future design of Waterloo, we seek both to honor and support the people who are its heart and soul and to create lasting connections with nature and play. During our design process, five elements inspired us: community, play, water, nature and re-use. By weaving together the diverse rhythms and energy of each, we created a place that celebrates the community of which it is an integral part.

COMMUNITY GOALS • Reflect the resilience of the neighborhood and its residents • Provide a nurturing environment/safe haven for neighborhood children

Waterloo Recreation Center

• Create common ground— a community hub that will pull the neighborhood together

Neighborhood: Norris Square, North Philadelphia Address: 2502-12 N. Howard St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19133 Established: 1955

• Create opportunities for stewardship of the site by neighborhood residents

Site Owner: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Community Partner: Men in Motion in the Community (MIMIC)

• Educate children about nature

The Opportunity: The Waterloo Recreation Center is a mid-block site cobbled together in 1955 from vacant land and the former Waterloo Street. The resilient community has most recently reclaimed their space through a City Council, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and nonprofit-led effort, which has transformed and successfully reopened the center. Adjacent vacant lots could be used to enhance the site with the potential to offer an innovative approach to play and accommodate all generations, enabling the center to bring together the diverse residents of this neighborhood.

• Engage talent in the neighborhood in the programming of the site, e.g., musicians • Create opportunities for workforce development • Improve the existing asset of the swimming pool • Accommodate the needs of the multigenerational community • Recreate Waterloo Street


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