Undergraduate architecture students and community members strike a balance for a proposed development in historic Germantown.
The corner of Germantown Avenue and Coulter Street in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood is currently occupied by a small parking lot behind a short row of shops on the campus of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. But through a nascent partnership between the church and the Northwest Community Land Trust, the site could someday be transformed into a mixed-use apartment building with affordable housing units serving neighborhood families.
Last fall, a group of fourth-year students in the undergraduate architecture program had a chance to run with that concept as part of a community design workshop called Germantown Housing Justice. The studio, led by Presidential Associate Professor of Architecture Rashida Ng at Weitzman and chair of the undergraduate architecture program, and co-taught by Brian Szymanik, principal of Studio 6mm and a lecturer at Weitzman, directed students to “consider opportunities to redress historic racial inequities in housing while promoting resilience, supporting climate adaptation, and fostering healthy communities.”