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The New Main Entrance Plaza at Villanova Pavilion

Rendering Image credit: Ewing Cole Architects

The Main Entrance Plaza at the newly renovated Villanova Pavilion. Construction is wrapping up and we're getting the first built glimpses of the original design that started two years ago. The new space elevates the visitor experience and offers seating and outdoor event opportunities for the University and celebrates the history of Villanova Athletics.

Before transformation

After transformation

Before transformation

After transformation

A Landscape Forms Case Study: Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC)

RCBC Quad Transformation is featured as a case study by Landscape Forms.  Driven by the institution’s planned transformation from a two-year commuter college to a four-year college, RCBC’s new quad gives students a “sense of community” and a feeling of a “home away from home”. This outdoor environment was achieved by creating a variety of outdoor gathering spaces with multiple seating options, sweeping walkways that form new connections to surrounding buildings, garden plantings, and an expansive lawn space for events and active play.  All spaces are accessorized by site furnishings and new light fixtures, giving students places to socialize, study, or sit quietly.  To read more about this exciting project click here.  

Villanova Housing Construction

After so many years of planning, it's exciting to see the beautiful new student housing at Villanova take shape and the quads begin to form.  There will be two large main quads and two smaller courtyard spaces, all of which will be linked by covered archways through the buildings.  It's apparent already that these spaces will be iconic and memorable for the students that will soon call these buildings home.

Inspira Medical Center

Site of the new Inspira Medical Center                                                                  

Construction is well underway at the new Inspira Medical Center, a 550,000-sf hospital located in Harrison Township, NJ.  Situated on a prominent 100-acre site at the intersection of Route 322 and Route 55 the project is scheduled for completion in late 2019.

Temple University Magazine Winter 2018

Two of our projects were featured in Temple's Winter 2018 edition.  Both landmarks paid tributes to Board of Trustees Chair Patrick J. O'Connor and Trustee H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest for their lifetime commitment and support of Temple University.  Also, four of our staff who worked on these projects are Temple Alumni:  Matthew Nelson, TYL '12, Stephen Panasci, TYL '14 (project designer for O'Connor Plaza), Jason Domingues, TYL '15, and Brad DiPadova, TYL '16 (project designer for Lenfest Circle).

Pictured above:  Temple University's O'Connor Plaza

Pictured above:  Temple University's Lenfest Circle

Daniel Chieco Attends Penn State Career Day


Daniel Chieco attends Penn State’s 32nd Annual Stuckeman School Career Day.  The event enables professional firms to interact with Penn State students majoring in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Graphic Design.  Dan had the opportunity to meet with many talented Landscape Architecture students to talk about their studies and interests, view portfolios, and discuss possible summer internships. Over 60 design firms participated in this year’s event.

Commercial Design of the Year Award

 Left to Right:  Matthew Nelson, Peter Chang and Daniel Chieco  © 2018 Unilock

Left to Right:  Matthew Nelson, Peter Chang and Daniel Chieco
© 2018 Unilock


Sikora Wells Appel was honored to receive the Commercial Design Project of the Year Award from Unilock New York for our Campus Quad design at Rowan College at Burlington County in Mount Laurel, New Jersey.  Dan Chieco and Matt Nelson are pictured with Peter Chang of Unilock Pavers at their annual Awards of Excellence dinner in White Plains, New York on November 17th, where Dan and Matt were invited to accept the award from Unilock’s Commercial Division.

Philadelphia FringeArts FEASTIVAL 2017


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