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William M. Meredith School
Project type
Academic & Healthcare,
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Philadelphia, PA
Pedestrian, Permeable
Historic, Linear

Located in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, William M. Meredith School is set in a historic school building built in the 1930s, featuring pronounced molded brick mullions, two Gothic arched entrances, and brick piers. While the school prides itself on fostering innovation and providing a supportive environment, the school amenities needed to reflect this vision and serve the students accordingly. Bringing together parents, teachers, facility members and other community members, the Meredith Home and School Association initiated a courtyard improvement project, Meredith Green, with the aim to improve the aesthetics and utility of the school exterior amenities, increasing recreational opportunities and providing beauty to the surrounding neighborhood. The main project challenge was to replace the vast concrete surface covering the entire schoolyard and increase green space on site. The central play space was left untouched except for the conversion of conventional concrete to porous concrete, while multiple bio-swales with small trees were implemented to collect stormwater from the adjacent surfaces. The designer chose Unilock Town Hall pavers, creating an elegant paving design around the playing field. The refined surface of Town Hall maintains a time-worn appearance, reflecting the history of the institution, and reduces the environmental footprint of the school by decreasing stormwater runoff.

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