A design firm that creates enduring places

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Graffiti Pier

the evolution of a cultural icon


Graffiti Pier

Delaware River Waterfront Conservancy

PROJECT TEAM Studio Zewde, Landscape Architecture Sherwood Design Engineers, Civil Engineering Amber Art+Design, Art and Community Engagement
Langan, Mairine and Geotechnical Engineering O’Donnell & Naccarato, Structural Engineering Becker & Frondorf, Cost Estimating

Concept Design

Graffiti Pier is a landmark in the street art scene, attracting graf writers and artists from clear across the eastern seaboard, proudly exhibiting why Philadelphia is a hotspot of cultural production. It’s also a place reflective of the culture of industry and the working class roots of Port Richmond and many Philadelphians. The site is a place of mystique, offering a sense of discovery and adventure. It’s a place known, but unknown; familiar, but found. Graffiti Pier is a place that offers unique prospect over the river and a valuable space of reflection in the midst of everyday urban life. At the same moment, the site is a safe haven for those in need of refuge. It’s a place of many stories -- first dates, first kisses, and—as Philadelphia’s most Instagrammed location—a place of many, many selfies.

The next evolution of the site shall ensure the continuation of the stories, meanings, and cultural production embedded in the site today. In this spirit, the Delaware River Waterfront Conservancy has commissioned Studio Zewde to develop a sensitive approach to concept design that elevates access and legibility of the site, crafts an adaptable, resilient shoreline, and protects the site’s unique qualities. The design process will include thorough community engagement of the artists and city dwellers that make Graffiti Pier what it is today, as well as the site’s adjacent residents.

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