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Beautifully Brown

Temporal Nature reimagines the block of Samuel Powel School and forms a community alliance that supports artistic expression, ecological education, and an expanded perception of greenspace. The project imperfectly engages the existing school’s modern articulation to create a public facing library surrounded by an exploratory garden and flexible assembly space for learning, gathering, and unprescribed play. Two new wood structures house private art studios, art classrooms and exhibition spaces to provide much needed support to the practices of local artists and create multiple points of engagement between artists and the neighborhood. These programs are connected by a central immersive landscape that embraces the wholistic lifespan of the community garden, including it’s periods of dormancy, decay, brown-ness, and regrowth that are often diminished in conceptions of desirable greenspace. By acknowledging value across this wider timeframe and by identifying avenues of support from local organizations, the underlying burden of maintenance embedded in a community garden transforms to become shared stewardship, nurturing symbiotic interactions between nature, students, artists, families, community groups, and neighbors alike. 

Bryony Roberts 704 Radical Play Studio

Block of Samuel Powel School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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