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RCBC's Campus Transformation

Quad before Construction

Construction is nearing completion at Rowan College at Burlington County located in Mt. Laurel, NJ.  At the heart of campus, the new Student Success Center has been designed in concert with a new campus quadrangle that balances a large, flexible open space with smaller, more intimate zones for gathering, learning, and studying.  The large, open lawn area is contrasted by the woodland walk, and tree grove area. A wide variety of built-in and movable furnishings provide ample space for sitting, gathering, and eating.  Construction will be completed this fall.

Construction Images below:

Summer Field Trip

For our studio field trip this summer, we toured the incomparable gardens at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA. Every corner of this amazing space offers inspiration for hardscape and planting design. Their managed meadows, woodland gardens, elevated walkway, ruin gardens and countless other spaces offer something fresh at every turn. We also toured The Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College.  The arboretum’s “garden of ideas” demonstrates the importance of how plants in the landscape can create dynamic, sustainable spaces. The iconic and enduring Scott Outdoor Amphitheater was a memorable highlight of the trip. The day was full of education and inspiration, and a renewed sense of the power of well-designed landscapes.

Courtyard at City Hall

Today was the official opening at the Courtyard at City Hall welcoming new features highlighting this important public space's history and central place in our city's heart.  The new features include a stage, seating and specially designed shade umbrella that collects rainwater and sustains green planters. This project supports Creative Philadelphia's Culture on Tap programming, the Mural Arts Philadelphia's Monument Lab and more.  The stage and other features will remain in the space throughout the summer and fall returning each year.

Welcome Jinah Kim!

We’d like to welcome the newest member to our team, Jinah Kim.  Jinah joined us last summer as part of our summer internship program.  She fit in immediately with her positive work ethic and her understanding of approach on a project while designing with empathy and sensitivity. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Master of Landscape Architecture program in May 2017.  She recently helped publish Issue 05 of the LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus) as an editor.  LA+ is a publication the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design distributes annually.  Jinah began her journey at Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea; moving to the United States three years ago.  While attending school in Korea, she received her Bachelor of Science, and a Master of Environmental Science, graduating with honors.  As an Environmental Scientist by profession, she chose to study Landscape Architecture because she saw the potential to shape urban development with beautiful interventions that contribute to ecological sustainability.

City Hall Courtyard

Our newest placemaking project located at Philadelphia's City Hall Courtyard is funded by Southwest Airlines.  The intent of the project is to support and activate ongoing programming as well as celebrate the site's unique historic significance and its connection to water.  This summer's pop-up will offer a shady oasis with seating, a rain-catching umbrella and a performance space.  Our team includes Exit who is responsible for branding and signage, and David Reilly for fabrication and installation.  To read more about the project click here.  Come celebrate the new installation in The Courtyard at City Hall on Friday, June 23, 2017 from 12 pm - 1 pm.  Enjoy this new space where everyone is welcome!

Renderings by Sikora Wells Appel

Sustainable Haddonfield Hosts Another Successful Earth Day

Parklet designed by Knolltop Nursery and Sikora Wells Appel

Parklet designed by Knolltop Nursery and Sikora Wells Appel

Earth Day was celebrated in Downtown Haddonfield on Saturday, April 22, 2017.  Haddonfield Farmers Market, along with other local merchants, offered organic foods, music, and eco-friendly exhibits to honor Mother Earth and everything green.  As part of the celebration, Sikora Wells Appel and Knolltop Nursery designed a landscaped parklet on the street.

Photos courtesy of Joseph Sikora

Poster Contest for Arbor Day, 4/28/17

As a member of the Eastampton Township, NJ, Environmental Commission, Dan Chieco and other commission members sponsor an annual Arbor Day poster contest for students of the Eastampton Community School.  The winning class is awarded a gift card to purchase environmental related school supplies.  Here Dan and fellow commission members review the submitted posters in preparation for selecting First, Second and Third place winners.  The winners will be announced at the annual event which will be held next Friday, April 28, 2017.

Rowan College at Burlington County Quadrangle

For this transformative project at the heart of Rowan’s campus at Burlington County, a new student life center is currently being designed in concert with a new campus quadrangle that balances a large, flexible open space with smaller, more intimate zones for gathering, learning, and studying.  An open lawn is contrasted with a woodland walk through, a grove of trees and a variety of built-in and movable furnishings activates the design. This project is at the core of the institution’s planned transformation from a two-year commuter college to a four-year college.  Click here to read announcement on RCBC's website.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2017

Photo courtesy of Bob Melvin

Photo courtesy of Bob Melvin

This year’s flower show, themed “Holland:  Flowering the World”, turned out to be another wonderful event.  After a year of planning, primping, and pruning their exhibits, designers transformed an empty space into a beautiful oasis of color.  Their creative and awe inspiring exhibits of extraordinary plants showcases their commitment to excellence.  The Flower Show is a top destination attracting 250,000 visitors to the Pennsylvania Convention Center annually.

Photos courtesy of Judy Sikora

NJ ASLA Award Honors

We are pleased to announce that we received NJ ASLA Honor Awards for Site Design for our Villanova University Central Campus Transformation and Roosevelt Plaza Park Year 3 projects.  Congratulations to all team members!

Villanova University Central Campus, Aerial, Photo courtesy 

Villanova University Central Campus, Aerial, Photo courtesy 

Roosevelt Plaza Park The Healthy Pop-up, Grove, Photo courtesy of Sikora Wells Appel

Roosevelt Plaza Park The Healthy Pop-up, Grove, Photo courtesy of Sikora Wells Appel

Welcome Brad DiPadova!

We’d like to welcome the newest member to our team, Brad DiPadova.  Brad received his Master's Degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University’s School of Environmental Design in 2016. With 12 years' experience as Lead Design Foreman at Knolltop Nursery, Brad brings a strong background in landscape design and construction experience to our firm. Brad loves the natural world and is always looking for the next opportunity to learn and try something new. Snowboarding, mountain biking, surfing and trail running are some of his favorite outdoor pastimes, which have taught him to appreciate the beauty of nature. He has a strong work ethic and a desire to enhance the inherent beauty of each project site while practicing ecologically sound design principles.

Nittany Lights

On September 23rd thru the 25th, our own Dan Chieco participated in Nittany Lights 2016. Established in 2006, the Nittany Lights Landscape Lighting Workshop is a 3-day event that brings lighting professionals, designers and architectural engineering students (who are specializing in lighting) together to create lighting installations on Penn State's University Park Campus.  Teams of students and volunteering professionals are formed.  Once the teams are formed they are assigned an outdoor space on campus.  Each team comes up with a theme for their space, and how lighting can be used to accomplish their concept.  Light fixtures, provided by vendors, are selected by each team during a timed auction process.  After a day of setting up all the fixtures and associated equipment in the field, the entire group walks through each teams’ space at night.  Check out the photos of Dan's team below:



Albert Einstein Medical Center - Mongtomery is the Recipient of a 2016 Montgomery Award for Excellence in Planning & Design

Albert Einstein Medical Center was one of 5 projects to be awarded at last night's awards reception.  The Montgomery Awards Program annually recognizes the best projects in planning and design in Montgomery County.  The awards committee stated the following about the project, "In recognition of creative vision, sensitive site planning, and sustainable design.  This extraordinary state-of-the-art medical campus, which creates a unique healing landscape that enriches the patient and visitor experience, demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship and provides positive economic impacts in the community."  Congratulations to the entire team for a job well done!

Studio Garden Renovation

Planting materials

Slowly but surely, we are renovating the grounds surrounding our office.  Yesterday morning Tuckahoe Nurseries delivered Cornus sericea - 'Red Twig Dogwood', Taxus hicksii - 'Hicks Yew', and Ilex x meserveae - 'China Girl Holly'.  Our native grass and wildflower meadow contrasts beautifully with the formality of the new hedge.  A huge thank you to Finn Brady's crew who came out and planted these for us.  Check out the before and after pictures below.

Hedge Row before

Hedge Row under construction

Hedge Row after

Holly Trees before

Holly Trees before

Holly Trees under construction

Holly Trees after

Holly Trees after

Red Twig Dogwood before

Red Twig Dogwood after

Joseph Sikora Speaks at the APA-PA 2016 Conference

Joe Sikora, along with Barry Jeffries and Michael Stokes both from from Montgomery County Planning Commission, spoke about Green and Sustainable Parking Lots yesterday at the APA-PA 2016 Conference.  Their session touched upon the idea of making parking lots more than paved areas to park your car, and how smart, innovative design can turn them into greener and sustainable spaces.