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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.

Knight Foundation Opens its 3rd Knight Cities Challenge

The Knight Foundation open its third Knight Cities Challenge on October 10, 2016.  The challenge is open until Thursday, Nov. 3 at 12:00 P.M. E.T.  Applicants are encouraged to submit innovative and effective ideas along with a plan to realize them.  Your ideas should focus on one or all three factors of city success:  talent (ideas to help cities attract talented people), opportunity (ideas that help make new connections), and engagement (ideas that spur civic engagement).  Click here for more information on the challenge and to apply.



Park(ing) Day is coming to Haddonfield on Friday, September 16, 2016.  The annual global event, where metered parking spaces are temporarily transformed into public spaces, is intended to improve the quality of our urban environment, at least until the meter runs out. This year’s collaborative project is sponsored by Sikora Wells Appel, Landscape Architects; Knolltop Nursery; and Community Bikes and Boards. Please stop by and relax at the Pop-up Beach in front of Community on Kings Highway East between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. 

Pro Bono Design for W.B. Saul High School Pays Off

Philadelphia's agricultural high school's 130-acre campus contains barns, fields, pastures, classrooms, labs, and a gym.  Saul came to the Community Design Collaborative for a master plan to connect a campus divided by busy Henry Avenue.  The plan outlines strategies to improve the streetscape to celebrate the school's unique identity, add a teaching pathway and an outdoor gathering space, add outdoor classrooms throughout the campus, and improve infrastructure to manage stormwater and farm waste runoff.  A highlight of the plan included a trail through the existing woodland with 15 interpretative stations centered on existing natural features.  The team included Sikora Wells Appel, Land Health Institute, and Meliora Design.  Due to the team's hard work, W.B. Saul High School, along with The CH2M Foundation and The Nature Conservancy, received an award for the innovative, cross-sectoral approach to connecting students to real-world STEM learning opportunities.  To learn more click here.

Day of Play Extravaganza

Join us Wednesday, July 27, at the Day of Play Extravaganza, an event organized by Philly Play and the Health Promotion Council during the Democratic National Convention to connect young people from Philadelphia to the convention and to amplify the importance of giving children access to active play every day. We designed some fun and playful elements for the event and are excited to see it all come together!  Watch this video to learn more about the event.

Photo Courtesy of Staack Moore Woodworking

Photo Courtesy of Staack Moore Woodworking

The Healthy Pop-up!

Anthony Perno, CEO of Cooper's Ferry Partnership, speaks at yesterday's press conference unveiling Roosevelt Plaza Park's third iteration - The Healthy Pop-up.

This summer's third installation at Roosevelt Plaza Park, located in front of City Hall in downtown Camden, gives residents an opportunity to help the environment while getting exercise in the process.  The orange-colored treadle pumps allows visitors to activate water jets that send collected rain water into a surrounding herb garden.  To learn more about the interactive park, click here to read this awesome article in Courier Post.

Swim Philly Press Event

Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovel of Philadelphia Parks & Rec, Councilwoman Cindy Bass, and members of the Mt. Airy community held a press event on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 to launch PP&R's program, Swim Philly, at Pleasant Playground.  Swim Philly brings free active programming, special events for all ages, comfortable seating and lounges, umbrellas, plants and more to enliven underutilized pool decks at five neighborhood locations across Philadelphia.  Click here for Yoga and water workouts for each location.