Location: Philadelphia, Pa, United States
SALT was commissioned by the Friends of Chester Arthur (FoCA) to transform an existing asphalt play yard into a vibrant, interactive educational hub. Located in the dense residential neighborhood of Graduate Hospital, the project
is supported by the Philadelphia Water Department through a Stormwater Management Improvement Project grant,
Organized into a series of playful labs for Systems, Energy, Motion and Habitat, the proposed design brings STEAM education out of the classroom and into an outdoor learning environment. Through exposure to natural and engineered systems, such as hydrology, pedology and meterology, students can investigate, compare and test the gamut of physical aspects that affect our daily environment, from water quality, topography and nutrient content of soils to measurement and calibration of renewable resources. The redesigned schoolyard offers myriad opportunities for gross motor exercise, performance and creative exploration through a bermed amphitheater, curving walkway with an engineered ST[r]EAM, robotics track, analemmatic sundial and an elevated frame for dynamic physics research.
Currently, all stormwater runoff generated by the school site goes directly into Philadelphia's combined sewer water system. The proposed design would capture and infiltrate runoff onsite through vegetated rain gardens and bio-swales, porous paving and underground storage.