November 16, 2015

Revitalizing and Repurposing Philadelphia’s Vacant Schools

The Reactivating Public Schools project, funded by the Community Design Collaborative and the Philadelphia Office of the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development, developed ways to integrate vacant schools back into the community. Above is one potential design idea for the Old Frances Willard School in the Kensington neighborhood.

One of KieranTimberlake's Community Involvement initiatives was featured in the most recent issue of Context, the AIA Philadelphia chapter's quarterly journal. The article focused specifically on KieranTimberlake's pro bono involvement in the Community Design Collaborative's pursuit to repurpose Philadelphia's vacant school buildings in weaker real estate markets. 
The project, known as Reactivating Public Schools, revolved around a design charrette held at the 2014 Design on the Delaware Conference. In this charrette, a team consisting of volunteer design professionals, neighborhood residents, private developers, and nonprofit organizations all collaborated to design both short- and long-term renovations for two different vacant school buildings (the M. Hall Stanton School and the Old Frances Willard School).  
A team of more than twenty KieranTimberlake volunteers then assembled the concepts discussed during the conference in order to create a report that was published in Grid magazine in August 2015. The report outlines several different temporary and permanent design options, with each concept taking into account both the needs of the community and the desire for neighborhood revitalization. Additionally, the report highlights the potential of these vacant schools to private and nonprofit developers alike.  
To learn more about KieranTimberlake's involvement in the project, click here.