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Philly: Innovative Building Design Hotbed


Congrats to Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT)’s Karen Blanchard, who’s been elected chapter director for the 2015 AIA Philadelphia Board of Directors (her colleague Jared McKnight was elected associate director). Karen tells us this is an extraordinary time for architecture in Philadelphia, since the city has reawakened as a place to be. “More than ever people are embracing living, working and spending their free time in the city, making Philly a real urban hub,” she says. “That’s reflected in the diversity of architecture that’s stretching the definition of Center City, both horizontally and vertically."


Karen’s latest design is the redevelopment of the 4.5-acre Wanamaker Middle School site at 11th Street and Cecil B Moore Avenue in Philadelphia, which has become mixed-use student housing with 832 beds. Completed last August by developer Goldenberg Group, and adjacent to Temple U, the property includes a residential and retail center, along with lively public open spaces and supporting retail options to anchor the southern edge of the campus.