InterPlay Philly

Design competition entry exploring the activation of underutilized urban infill spaces for the city of Philadelphia, PA –  Philadelphia Community Design Collaborative, 2016.

in collaboration with Seher Erdogan Ford, Assistant Professor in Architecture, Tyler School of Art | Founding Principal at EFFO + Tyler Swanson, Landscape Architect at Rogers Partners

InterPlay is a place of connection: line with volume, familiar with new, community with kids, and education with play.  The project creates a big backyard for the Norris Square neighborhood and breaks the Waterloo Recreation Center out of its interior “block-lock,” drawing in select surrounding plots.  Existing community amenities on the site find amplified purpose through their interweaving with specific play spaces. Key activity ribbons are designed for dual-use – enabling them to facilitate both play and social gathering for the neighborhood.

Edges within the design are manipulated in three-dimensions.  The boundaries of the site are drawn in and interlaced within the interior of the block, enhancing exposure of the re-activated space to the surrounding streets.  Murals by local artists adorn the walls of key play areas. 3D climbing structures emerge from the images on these 2D surfaces, linking the visual to the spatial fields. The ground plane is designed in subtle relief to enable specific activities. Movement among plot ribbons reveal different ground qualities – springy, stiff, striated, or slick for water resistance. Seams between plots participate in an active system of water catchment and drainage.  The parcelization of the site by plot ribbon serves as a testing lab for the detailing and use of each plot and is intended to jump-start infill development of vacant plots arrays in the surrounding neighborhood in future phases.


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