Building Tour

CTBUH Philadelphia Chapter: Walking Tour of University City

Thursday, 15 July 2021 | Philadelphia

University City is often seen as the bridge between Center City and West Philadelphia. The area immediately to the West of the Schuylkill River represents both challenges and opportunities of site topography, infrastructure and context for development. Please join representatives of Brandywine Realty Trust, Erdy McHenry Architecture, Roof Meadow and the University of Pennsylvania to learn more about the ways public space has been made in this sliver between the University and the Schuylkill River.

The tour will begin at 4 PM at the Northeast corner of Drexel Square (JFK & 30th Street). Participants will learn about the public/private partnerships between Penn and Drexel University and Brandywine to create Schuylkill Yards, a new R&D oriented mixed use development project and the Cira developments.

Walking south along 30th Street will reveal the divergent relationship between topography and infrastructure as the city rises to cross over the river, allowing for overlapping systems of travel, utility distribution and pedestrian circulation.

Arriving at Highline Field, attendees will see how Penn’s development of the Left Bank contrasts the class of 1923 ice rink through its direct engagement of both Highline Field and the elevated Walnut Street. Continuing south will reveal Penn Park, a year-round recreational facility that serves the University Community as well as the surrounding neighborhood.

The final stop will be a Networking Social at Cira Green, part of Brandywine’s Cira development along to Schuylkill. This public park, sitting on top of an existing parking structure, represents what is possible when considering the city as a vertical neighborhood. Cira Green is a storm water machine, processing over 700,000 gallons of water per year—managing both flow and stormwater quality. Design by Erdy McHenry Architecture and RoofMeadow, this productive landscape represents one of the first installations of a blue roof green roof on the East Coast.