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Design competition launches to redesign Philadelphia airport landscape

Have an idea to turn 130 acres into something great? Now’s your chance to weigh in

An aerial view of the Philadelphia International Airport.
A design competition is launching to reimagine about 130 acres of landscape around the Philadelphia International Airport.
via Wikimedia Commons

When one thinks of or drives by the Philadelphia International Airport, the word “iconic” doesn’t really come to mind. Prominent parking garages and lots? Yes. Marshes? Sure. But iconic? Not so much.

The airport wants to change that mindset. In partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), the Philadelphia International Airport is launching an international design competition, looking for landscape architects to create an “Image Maker” landscape that leaves a better first and last impression on travelers coming in and out of Philly.

It’s a big design scope that offers about 130 acres of both planted and natural lands around the airport for designers to consider. Along with the goals of creating an iconic landscape and memorable experience for travelers, the design should also enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the airport’s landscape.

Here’s the timeline of the design competition:

  • The design competition launches on Thursday, June 8, when a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be issued.
  • RFQ responses are due by July 21, 2017.
  • Four finalists will be picked from the RFQ by a jury. Each finalist will receive $20,000 stipend to develop a conceptual plan.
  • The winning design will be used “in efforts to identify funds for design development and project implementation.”

Full guidelines and the application can be found here.