Richard Roark on Hunts Point Lifelines, Tonight at AIA New York’s Center for Architecture

Richard Roark, on site at the City Branch, an abandoned rail line now overtaken by nature in the heart of Philadelphia.

Richard Roark, on site at the City Branch, an abandoned rail line now overtaken by nature in the heart of Philadelphia.

Tonight at the AIA New York Chapter’s Center for Architecture, Partner Richard Roark joins a distinguished panel for Landscape on the Front Lines: Resiliency begins on Site. As we come to recognize the effects that climate change, storm events, and other natural occurrences have on our man-made systems, landscape architects are leading the charge to better understand the ever-changing relationship between nature and cities and work across disciplines to develop resilient solutions. Richard will be presenting Hunts Point Lifelines by OLIN/PennDesign, one of six winning proposals for HUD’s Rebuild By Design Competition.

Reframe Issue 1 is Here

crowd reframe

Issue 1 of Reframe, OLIN’s new digital magazine, launches today at In our inaugural issue, we’re talking resiliency—not just in terms of climate change, but to quote Henk Ovink: “it’s about jobs, quality of life, open space, global commerce, clean air, and water.”

This issue of course, comes on the heels of the historic Rebuild By Design competition, from which six proposals, including PennDesign/OLIN’s Hunts Point | Lifelines, were selected to help ensure a more resilient future for our mid-Atlantic coastal cities. We sat down with Henk himself, engage with the community of Hunts Point, and speak with two photojournalists who documented the effects of Sandy. But we must also recognize that resiliency is a challenge across our country and indeed the world. Reframe’s contributors explored issues and successes in the Midwestern US and the drought-stricken West Coast. We hope that these stories inspire consideration and conversation on how to build a truly sustainable future.

Hunts Point | Lifelines Proposal Wins Rebuild By Design Competition


The Hunts Point | Lifelines proposal has been selected as one of six competition winners for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild By Design Competition. The project, developed by by the University of Pennsylvania School of Design and OLIN, has been selected to receive $20 million of HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding.

The Conversation, Reframed

OLIN introduces Reframe, a new digital magazine exploring the complex and evolving issues facing our cities and environments. Are you ready to join the conversation? Stay tuned to and follow @Reframemag on Twitter.

OLIN/OMA Shortlisted for 11th Street Bridge Park Competition Stage 2


OLIN and OMA together are one of six shortlisted teams for the  second stage of the 11th Street Bridge Park Design Competition in Washington, DC. On the heels of a major bridge replacement project across the Anacostia River, this project seeks to repurpose the infrastructure of an existing decommissioned bridge into a new pedestrian/bicycle connector and public park for the city. To learn more about the park and follow our team’s progress through the competition phases, visit

OLIN One of Five Selected for New Park at the Presidio of San Francisco


OLIN is one of five firms selected for the conceptual design, public engagement, and programming for a new 10-acre park at the historic Presidio of San Francisco. The new park will bridge over the future tunnels of the Presidio Parkway, connecting the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground to Crissy Field, a restored wetland park on the San Francisco Bay. This will be the second time OLIN has collaborated with the Presidio—the studio developed a master plan for the Main Parade Ground in 2003. OLIN is joined by a highly talented, multi-disciplinary team for this phase of the project, including Olson Kundig Architects, Local Projects, the Natural Learning Initiative, and Heritage Landscapes.

LEED Gold for Washington Canal Park

Image © OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy

Image © OLIN / Sahar Coston-Hardy

Washington Canal Park has achieved LEED Gold certification! Formerly the location of the Washington City Canal system, which connected the Anacostia River to the Potomac River, the three acre site was long used as a parking lot for the area school district’s buses. OLIN’s design evokes the history of the space with a diverse social program and highly performative elements such as planted bioswales, stormwater cisterns, a geothermal temperature control system, and locally sourced environmentally sustainable materials.

Today, Canal Park is a model of sustainability, a social gathering place, and an economic trigger for the surrounding neighborhood. Find more information on how LEED Gold was achieved, Canal Park’s LEED scorecard can be found on the Unites States Green Building Council website.

Collaboration with Art: Janet Echelman & Susan Weiler

Pulse at Dilworth Plaza

OLIN Partner Susan Weiler will be speaking at University of Pennsylvania tonight with artist Janet Echelman about landscape architects’ collaborations with art. Richard Weller, Professor and Chairman of Landscape Architecture; Martin and Margy Meyerson, Chair of Urbanism, will moderate the two with a focus on OLIN’s design for Dilworth Plaza, and the integration of Pulse, a 11,600 square foot installation of light and fog, by Studio Echelman.

The event will be held in Meyerson Hall’s Lower Gallery on University of Pennsylvania’s campus from 6:00PM – 7:30PM.

PennDesign/OLIN’s Rebuild by Design Project Proposal

Final Image

Today in New York City, teams participating in the Rebuild By Design competition will present their final proposals to resiliently rebuild areas affected most by Hurricane Sandy.

The PennDesign/OLIN team’s project, Hunts Point Lifelines, focuses on economic and community vulnerability to climate risks led to the selection of the 690-acre Hunts Point peninsula of the South Bronx as the site. The team involved the area’s stakeholders to integrate design with deep community engagement, research, and analysis, as well as implementation and funding strategies that would result in buildable projects. The following videos document the projects component addressing the many different issues the designs address.

The OLIN Bench: Conviviality and the OLIN Seating Approach

Panorama of the Piazza del Campo, Photo by Scott Williams

Panorama of the Piazza del Campo, Photo by Scott Williams

Panorama of the Piazza del Campo, Photo by Scott Williams

There is no seating at the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Tuscany. Yet, there are people sitting all around on the ground sloping down towards the middle of the urban plaza. The space affords the opportunity for anyone to take a rest and linger outside, and it doesn’t need a single seat to do this. The Piazza del Campo is a successful example of how public space is used to facilitate a social experience for its users. Visitors to it are able to express conviviality as they participate in an experience where being in proximity to others is a form of social engagement. OLIN uses this idea to design seating to create the same effect. Seating sets a context for behavior as much as it accommodates people in a space.