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Practice : Fall 2008
NEWSWORTHY ] CONNECTING MARKET EAST left to right: Connecting Market East: Plaza rendering; Gregory Heller, Gloria Orfanos, Edward Hillis, James S. McKenna III, David Haugen, Paul Goldberger, Joel Isaksen, Nathan Allen, Joe Stromer, Chris Hillebrand, Ayako Okutani, Andrew Allwine A proper site analysis and great teamwork really pushed us through this process," explained Hillenbrand. "We came away from the site visit with an overall concept that we rst fooled around with on cocktail napkins after walking the site and Philadelphia the whole day." e plan that they drove away with was a proposed revitalization of Center City Philadelphia. eir comprehension of the urban design problem was deeper than street intersections and city blocks. It was a psychological consideration of pedestrian interaction with design and the immediate needs of Philadelphia. e BAC students' design proposed a bold, new urban center for Market East, with signi cant commercial and residential development. rough a clear understanding of the successes and failures of Market East over its history, BAC students were able to better respond to its current form. ey carefully considered how Market East and the surrounding blocks could be revitalized into an exciting urban, pedestrian, and shopping experience for its diverse set of users. eir winning design creates a diagonal a xis connecting Market East with points south, and includes an intercultural center and a below-ground bus depot. " e theme of the competition was connection and that is exactly what we tried to do," said Hillenbrand. " e area is a main retail corridor between City Hall and Independence Mall, yet one of the largest street obstructions is an indoor mall that puts up a blank face to the street and cuts o pedestrian access to the north. We took down the mall, built up and cut though an existing parking lot in an attempt to revitalize the commercial aspects of the area, all while drawing greater connections to the existing attractions in and out of the immediate area." e students worked on the project throughout the summer, making time for group meetings despite heavy workloads in their rms. "As with most design projects it came down to the last hour as we scrambled to complete the boards," said Stromer. "In fact it literally came down to the last minute as we ran to the twenty-four hour post o ce at : to have the package post-marked and sent before midnight." e Ed Bacon Foundation received entries from individuals and teams, representing the work of students from twelve colleges and universities in seven U.S. states and one Canadian province. Seven of the entries were from students at schools in Philadelphia: Drexel University, Temple University, Philadelphia University, and the University of Pennsylvania. And despite strong competition from the greater Philadelphia area, PRACTICE 10