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Practice : Fall 2008
Connecting Market East BAC students restore 'organic energy' to Center City Philadelphia. How do a group of Boston architecture students win a Philadelphia-based urban design competition? It takes a Paci ca, energy, Internet research, skill and talent, paid postage, and an innate understanding of the connection between human needs and design. At a gala awards ceremony in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel (PSFS Building), the Ed Bacon Foundation announced the winners of its second-annual national student design competition: Connecting Market East. e winning entry came from a team of ve Master of Architecture students at the Boston Architectural College: Nathan Allen, David Haugen, Chris Hillebrand, Joel Isaksen, and Joe Stromer. "When we heard that we had won the competition it was almost unreal," said Stromer. "I don't think any of us truly believed it until we actually heard our names announced at the awards ceremony." e Ed Bacon Foundation is a Philadelphia based nonpro t organization, established in . It runs educational programming focused on the future of Philadel- phia and urban America, in honor and memory of Edmund N. Bacon, Philadelphia's late city planning director. Its' student competition is designed to challenge students across North America to focus on urban design problems, while simultaneously raising awareness of Bacon's work. is year's competition focused on Market East one of Center City Philadelphia's prime retail districts that was signi cantly shaped by Bacon's planning concepts. Students were challenged to conceive a new and original concept for improving the site, showing awareness of its historical evolution, the site's modern users and opportunities, and keeping an eye to the future. As their spring semester wrapped up, this group of BAC students had a stretch of summer that lay before them. ey decided that they needed to continue challeng- ing themselves; entering a design competition was the answer. Allen and Hillenbrand solicited a couple of friends from school to help and they made it happen. at is how it got started but the process is a whole other story. "We made the typical college road trip to Philadelphia and it proved to be the most bene cial move we could have made. Schematic Philly NEWSWORTHY ] CONNECTING MARKET EAST By Jenni Williamson PRACTICE 9