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Practice : Fall 2008
NEWSWORTHY ] CONNECTING MARKET EAST To stand today on the corner of, say, Market Street and th Street is to perceive the city of Philadelphia as a disparate constellation of photogenic destinations rather than landmarks in a seamless urban fabric. At street level the Gallery is an imposing physical and psychological barrier and the major transit complex beneath, which is one of the greatest urban-engineering feats of our time, is left invisible. e Gallery's modest street-level presence is actually on the other side of this forbidding wall, across from the pushed aside bus depot. Essentially the mall has turned itself inside out and the disorienta- tion is complete as you feel like you could be anywhere once inside. Our design seeks to integrate Market East into the image of Philadelphia by reclaiming these blocks for Center City. For the city as an enterprise, our intervention would be a catalyst for this type of unde ned organic growth for the future by letting the neighborhood develop itself over time, rather than seek to design a whole solution all at once. For the pedestrian --- citizen, commuter, tourist, or transient--- our goal is to create a greater humanistic cityscape within an urban fabric that can only be fully appreciated through direct experience. is is done by facilitating and encouraging intuitive navigation and rewarding exploration with delight, all while accommodating both commerce and recreation. ---Excerpt from BAC Students' Winning Design Essay Connecting Market East: Conceptual sketch it was a group of Boston students who took the prize. "Our colleagues in Philadelphia asked why we let our students embarrass them on their home turf," said President Landsmark. "And I explained that it's just not possible for us to limit the scope of our students' ambitions." What the BAC students proposed was essentially the reurbanization of Market East; the completion of a revived Center City that can continue to grow as a high-quality, geographically expansive, livable urban environ- ment. eir plan introduces a vital heart to Market East and lets what Bacon would call the 'organic energy' of the city take over. PRACTICE 11