University of Notre Dame School of Architecture graduate students earned second prize in the Ed Bacon Foundation’s Brown-to-Green design competition. The award-winning entry, submitted by students Keith Kirley, Cindy Michel, Leon Li, Zeke Balan, Clayton Vance and CJ Howard, received $1,500 at a December 8 ceremony at the Center for Architecture in Philadelphia. They proposed a mixed-use development for an existing brownfield site along the Schuylkill River south of the University of Pennsylvania campus. “We worked to address several key issues," Kirley said, "including revitalizing the contaminated site, providing multiple points of access to the new riverfront park.”
The Philadelphia-based non-profit Ed Bacon Foundation is dedicated to preserving and strengthening the vision of the city's renowned planner, Edmund N. Bacon. This year’s competition, “Brown to Green: An Urban Sustainability Design Challenge,” required entrants to develop a sustainable solution for South Philadelphia's Grays Ferry Crescent industrial brownfield site. “Every major city in the United States is going to have to figure out what to do with their industrial brownfields,” Kirley said. “This is the kind of experience that will make us incredibly useful.”
The group produced a master plan, site analyses, a sustainable, walkable mixed-use design strategy, and generated hand-drafted, watercolor perspectives and elevations. The resulting plan included a riverfront park, residential, commercial and retail buildings, an outdoor theater, baseball field, recreational canal, and a large piazza surrounded by public buildings and a colonnaded open market area.