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Philadelphia FringeArts FEASTIVAL 2017

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We were proud to have been a part of this year’s amazing 2017 FEASTIVAL to support FringeArts in Philadelphia.  Each September for the past seven years, this premier arts festival has joined forces with Philadelphia’s world class restaurants, and has become known as “the best party in Philadelphia”.  The celebration included acts by performing artists, flowing libations, and delicious foods from 75 Philly restaurants.

Temple University Founder's Garden Renovation

© 2017 Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University

As campus life slowed down for the summer, construction projects ramped up all over the University.  Founder’s Garden is a quiet garden space located at the heart of Main Campus, at the intersection of Polett and Liacouras Walks.  The garden, first installed in 1968, received a much-needed renovation.  Updated features include a double-sided water wall, a new Temple Owl sculpture, new paving, a curved granite bench, moveable seating, new lighting and lush plantings.  We are proud of this fresh update to a classic modernist garden and look forward to seeing it occupied by students, faculty and visitors.

RCBC's Campus Transformation Opening Celebration

© 2017 RCBC Staff Photographer

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Rowan College at Burlington County, along with the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders, celebrated the opening of the new Student Success Center and Campus Quad.  The celebration included a musical performance by RCBC students, hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity for the Burlington County community to tour the new Student Success Center.  Joe Sikora, Dan Chieco, and Matt Nelson attended the event - each of whom played active roles in re-envisioning the Campus Quad and led the design efforts. 

At the heart of the campus, the new Quad was designed in concert with the Student Success Center as part of the institution’s planned transformation from a two-year commuter college to a four-year college.  The Quad balances a large open lawn space designed to hold large events including graduation; with smaller areas for gathering, dining, and studying.  As the central activity hub, the Student Success Center Plaza was created with flexibility in mind - handling daily outdoor dining, outdoor classes, and other events.  By contrast, the Grove is a more intimate space, incorporating a variety of shade trees, groundcover planting, stone dust gravel, and moveable tables and chairs for individuals and small groups.  A network of new walking paths serves to connect students to each building as well as the parking lots and other areas of campus. 

© 2017 RCBC Staff Photographer, and Sikora Wells Appel

DTCC Stanton's Courtyard featured in Landscape Architect and Specifier News

Delaware Technical Community College is undergoing a campus transformation to expand their facilities.  We led their courtyard renovation project located at a major hub on their Stanton Campus.  The improvements included a large canopy structure, terraced wood benches, a raised wood deck that doubles as a performance space, a dining terrace, a bluestone patio with movable seating, a rain garden with footbridge, and lush plantings.

We were invited to respond to LASN magazine's Call for School and Campus projects.  To read the complete article in their June issue click here.

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:

Before

After