At the forefront of a nationwide environmental shift, Philadelphia is distinguishing itself as a leader in the rapidly growing world of green infrastructure. With a commitment towards furthering the development and implementation of urban agriculture and stormwater management technology, The Green Infrastructure Initiative of Philadelphia was founded. Its aim is to provide educational programs for youth and adults alike, to spark initiative in the community to implement technology and practices such as rainwater trenches at a small-scale level.
The former William S. Peirce Middle Scool is adaptively reused to integrate its dual functions of rainwater collection and urban agriculture. The strong vertical lines on the exterior of the existing building are manipulated within, creating an open core within which crops are grown and water is collected. Much of the site at grade is part of the public realm, encouraging visitors to become engaged by the building. In essence, it seeks to clearly represent the arrival of a new form of urban infrastructure by clearly demonstrating their usage to the city.