The Alexander Adaire Schoolyard Redesign is intended to provide neighborhood active play space amenity in addition to improving storm water management for the Philadelphia School District and the city of Philadelphia. The Alexander Adaire School is located in the neighborhood of Fishtown, and is fortunate to have a flattering history from which to draw historic references in the design. Noteworthy features of the schoolyard redesign include a vibrant rain garden, active play area, shaded seating, and a shared parking area for teacher and the community. The community involvement, design time and material were provided as pro-bono services.
This is a favorite project because many of the guiding principles for this architecture firm are implemented. The transparency working with the local neighbors, receiving the elementary school student’s ideas, meeting with school staff, and working with and stewarding the environmental cause of the Philadelphia Water Department are among some of the wonderful connections made during the design process. In addition, the rich history of the origin of the elementary school and the real life example of how a community can make change is fulfilling. Once this project is complete, expected in late 2017, current students and future students will have a new expectation of schoolyards and how they may be connected to a global interest in conserving resources.