Student Design Competition – Challenge Description

Challenge Description

The BLTa 2020 Student Design Competition will prompt design teams to conceptualize a vibrant mixed-use development in Philadelphia along the Delaware River.  The waterfront has long suffered from being bifurcated from Center City by Interstate 95 which runs North – South.  Recent developments both proposed and executed are promising of a brighter future.

The site has great potential and an emerging identity characterized by some of the following assets:

  • The Delaware River Waterfront and trail
  • Spruce Street Harbor Park
  • The proposed capping of a section of I-95 to create a park over the highway
  • Proximity to Society Hill and Old City
  • Recent improvements on the Race Street Piers as an outdoor amenity
  • Recent improvements at the Cherry Street Piers as an interior public amenity and commercial/cultural space

A detailed program and site will be provided on the day of the Challenge.

The general program will include the following:

  • Multi-family residential
  • Ground level retail
  • A transit hub / water ferry terminal
  • A cultural facility of your choice
  • An outdoor space

The designs will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Clarity of Overall Concept
  • Placemaking– How does your proposal enhance the public realm on the site?  What is the context and how do you improve upon it?
  • Connectivity – How does your design interface indoor / outdoor spaces, public / private spaces, and the surrounding community?
  • Core Skillsets- demonstrate excellent design, technical, drawing, written, and coordinated presentation skills
  • Oral Presentation- A 2-minute presentation by each team will provide an opportunity to quickly engage the audience and judges

Some resource links for general insight of the project context: