Washington Avenue Green Design-Build
The city of Philadelphia recently adopted a new vision for its riverfront. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) wanted to implement early action projects to help build a constituency of riverfront users and illustrate the City’s commitment to the riverfront. The abandoned Pier 53 provided the perfect opportunity to begin this process. Beyond providing new green space and public river access, the project was viewed by Biohabitats as a way to actively engage South Philadelphians in the restoration and stewardship of their riverfront. DRWC hired Biohabitats to provide turn-key design-build services to create a park along a section of riverfront trail and restore urban habitat. With simplicity, inspiration and sustainability in mind, Biohabitats developed a design for Pier 53 and its surroundings that will serve as a catalyst for regenerating a healthy waterfront, and an incubator for the creation of a greater riverfront greenway. Biohabitats’ approach incorporated elements of sustainable design such as porous paving, the reuse of on-site material, a rain garden, and native plant landscaping. It also created a place to learn about the future of the riverfront and the ecology of the Delaware River. Finally, the site was designed to accommodate a changing riverfront with changing needs and environmental conditions, such as sea level rise.