Urban Thinkscape
Philadelphia, PA

This playspace in Philadelphia is the pilot site for Urban Thinkscape, a multidisciplinary project led by Temple University’s psychology department. Temple professors assembled a team of architects, designers and builders from Philadelphia and beyond, to engage with a community in West Philadelphia in a highly collaborative process.

Together the team (including Temple University, Itai Palti Architects, Public Workshop, Studio Ludo, Science Museum of Minnesota, Community Bible Deliverance Kingdom Ministries, Belmont Alliance Civic Association & the City of Philadelphia) envisioned an engaging, highly customized and designed playspace that would present educational playful learning opportunities for young people in the neighborhood. Roofmeadow and Roofmeadow Services, Inc. were engaged to coordinate among the many collaborators, finalize and document the design, and see the project through to construction.

The playspace has transformed an underutilized lot at an exposed, high-traffic corner. Custom features of the playspace include a “puzzle wall” with rotating cylinders that form images, a 17 foot aluminum structure that casts shapes in silhouette, and a faceted wood deck with embedded “story” images. The project has been featured in Smithsonian magazine and is intended to be a flagship that will lead to construction of Urban Thinkscapes across the country.