BWA had a blast at the 2017 Leverage celebration of the Community Design Collaborative’s community design impact and fundraiser for future design grants! In addition to a delightful evening of food, awards, and raffles, the event was a wonderful chance to peruse the Collaborative’s gallery of diverse projects and explore UPenn’s impressive new Pennovation Center. Check out the Collaborative’s photos from the evening here 

BWA was honored to have two projects featured in the gallery, and to have the opportunity for our design volunteers to catch up with the community partners who are working hard to turn the project teams’ visions into reality.

New Kensington CDC | Conceptual Design for Gateway to the Lehigh Somerset Neighborhood

2944_002NKCDC was a Community Design Award finalist, also featured in the recent AIA Philadelphia Architecture exhibit at Liberty Place.

Two intersections along Frankford Avenue serve as gateways into the Lehigh Somerset neighborhood. The Collaborative worked with Somerset Neighbors for Better Living and New Kensington CDC on a conceptual plan to enliven the intersections with street trees and planting beds fed by stormwater, sidewalk bump-outs, and street murals of twining ivy. Welcome signs and a bold wall-and-road mural turn a railway viaduct into a neighborhood connector. The design concepts developed for Lehigh Somerset can be used by neighborhoods throughout the city. Already parts of the plan have been implemented including lighting under the Lehigh Viaduct. The funds for the next phase of the project have been raised and will be used for the 20,000 square foot section of land near the intersection of Frankford Ave and Sterner St.  Read more about the project here.


AEC Cares | projectPhiladelphia



The AEC Cares Team was comprised of designers from across the city. BWA served as the lead volunteer firm.

The Community Design Collaborative had the unique opportunity to partner with AEC Cares during the AIA National Convention to renovate the Athletic Recreation Center in the Sharswood neighborhood. AEC Cares, a national nonprofit, sponsors a community service project each year in the city that is hosting the AIA Convention.

The Collaborative found the perfect partner, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, who identified a youth-focused recreation center in great need of physical improvements.


Collaborative volunteers developed the scope of work for the project, managed product donations, coordinated the preparation work, and designed interior improvements for multiple areas throughout the building. The volunteers were also responsible for directing approximately 140 volunteers on the Blitz Build day! Read more about the project here. 





Firm Honors


The Collaborative awarded the AEC Cares Team its 2017 You Can Count On Me Award in recognition of the team’s “exemplary and endless commitment to community design.”

Kathy Lent was also was inducted to the CDC Volunteer Hall of Fame for completing 500+ pro bono hours. Learn more about Kathy’s work with CDC.

BWA architecture + planning also was inducted into the Volunteer Hall of Fame as a firm for completing 1,500+ pro bono hours.