Research

Group photo of project participants. Text: "Penn Station Studio University of Pennsylvania London Charette 2013"

To some, the original Penn Station, designed by Charles McKim and operated through the first half of the 20th century, was the greatest train station not only in New York, but in the entire world. Its demolition and replacement with the existing Penn Station (in the basement below Madison Square Garden) has been cited as the origin of the historic preservation movement, and remains a sore subject for New Yorkers to this day.

Visualization of green area for a multi-family building.

Designing green community spaces into multi-family buildings (e.g., conods and housing cooperatives) our designers are encouraging people to take pride in their communities, their homes, and one another.

Visualization of energy saving building design.

Building automation is increasingly included in most buildings under construction in this day and age. By incorporating policies in to regional and city constrution codes that require adaptive features that maximize use of natural light, passive heating and cooling, as well as natural air flow, the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design is helping encourage not only more comfortable living and working spaces in urban environments but a greener and more sustainable future.

Visualization of potential vertical food gardens.

Many cities have large groups of people who suffer from food insecurity. Vertical gardens not only help reduce the carbon foot print of food production, but can aid in the fight against hunger and poverty.

Planning Praxis, HSPV 760-920, Shanghai, China, 2014

The historic built environment is brimming with intelligence about how to create and adapt sustainable places.  Some of the deepest issues in design and planning these days relate to how we re-use inherited buildings and landscapes — and combine and interpret them with our own creativity.

Collection of large abstract sculptures and one woman examining them.

Our faculty emphasize design in action. Case studies, project-based work, and other experiential learning components form the foundation of our curriculum. Why just talk about our work when we can let it speak for itself?

Map of section of Benjamin Franklin Parkway

In Philadelphia, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway evolved slowly from a gateway to Fairmount Park into an automobile conduit to the city.

Map of the area surrounding the Philadelphia International Airport with list of areas for potential improvement.

In 2012 and 2013, PennPraxis worked with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and more than 100 key stakeholders to zero in on potential sites in in Philadelphia most worthy of becoming the next generation of “civic landscapes.” PHS has made an indelible mark in the public space of Philadelphia, including well known projects such as the Azalea Garden and Logan Square, as well as lesser-known, but equally beneficial greening projects elsewhere in the city.

3D model of the Lower Schuylkill area.

The Lower Schuylkill Master Plan was a collaborative effort to create a blueprint for high-quality sustainable redevelopment of the historically industrial corridor along the east and west banks of the Lower Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, PA.

Rudimentary map of Philadelphia including green spaces.

PennPraxis is working with the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation to create an action plan to help the department meet the mandate for 500 acres of new parkland set forth in Greenworks Philadelphia.

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