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Morris Arboretum Overlook

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The goal of the project was to select a site within the Morris Arboretum in the Chestnut Hill area of Philadelphia, and design an outdoor sitting area to accommodate 4 to 8 people. The design must incorporate existing landscape elements, and display a sensitivity toward the character of the site, orientation, seasonal change, and the experience of walking to and arriving at the area.

A site was selected on a steep hillside and rock outcropping overlooking Wissahickon Creek. The design incorporates the rock outcropping into the structure itself, using it as a visual backdrop and anchor. Located at the intersection of two trails, the sitting area is conceived as a wooden platform overlooking the creek below. The platform is supported by angled structural members so as to not disturb the topography and vegetation of the site, and includes a pit for small campfires. The sharp angles and dynamic shape of the structure reflect the jagged shape of the rock outcropping and dramatic site.

Click on a thumbnail below for a full-size image:

Site Plan
Section / Elevation


Fourth Year Design Studio
Fall 2002
Drexel University, Philadelphia Westphal College of Media Arts and Design
Studio Critic Jeff Krieger