SPAN: Our Blog

Early Learning Gets Physical
In inner-city Philadelphia, preschool centers pop up everywhere, tucked into strip malls and former rowhomes, stores and laundromats. Bright colors and cheery facades often hide spaces within that are not safe and stimulating places. There are city and state requirements for education, but few standards that address design quality of…   Read More >
Kebony’s Top 100 Architecture Firm Blogs
Kebony featured their  TOP 100 ARCHITECTURE FIRM BLOGS YOU SHOULD BE FOLLOWING this month. Our thoughtful and thorough blog about the projects and work we challenge ourselves with was recognized by the Norwegian wood brand and technology company. We appreciate the recognition, and continue to share the stories that come from…   Read More >
We’re Hiring!
Administrative Staff Opening CICADA Architecture/Planning, Inc., a dynamic, growing architecture firm has an opening for an administrative/marketing person with the right blend of creativity and discipline to help us continue to grow. The successful applicant will have a background in business and marketing/advertising, excellent writing skills, and an eye for…   Read More >
Celebrating 10th PARK(ing) Day Philadelphia
The number of parks throughout Philadelphia increases dramatically each year on the third Friday in September, when activists, artists, architects, and other citizens transform metered parking spaces into temporary public parks. Known as PARK(ing) Day, this annual event re-imagines the possibilities of 170 square feet of public space. The event…   Read More >
Collaborative Firm Volunteer for Mixed-Use Building
Earlier this summer the Community Design Collaborative featured our work as a firm volunteer for Community Ventures (CV) and the Village of Arts and Humanities (VAH) Design Grant recipients for the renovation of the Treacy Building, located at the intersection of Germantown and Lehigh Avenues. As the firm volunteer, CICADA provided…   Read More >
Shaping the Visitor Experience
The buildings that serve as visitor centers at sites of cultural, historic, or environmental importance are as varied as the sites they serve, but the best are emblematic of resources they serve. They must support the varied needs of their visitors, from tourists making a quick stop as part of…   Read More >
Architects Action Day 2017
Dana Rice and Nana Biney representing emerging professionals at  Architects in Action 2017 in Harrisburg had a front row seat to democracy in action.  Every year in Harrisburg Pennsylvania, the AIA PA convenes members from across the state to lobby the for bills and issues that are not only important…   Read More >
Come visit us!
  It’s springtime and we have a great view of the city. We’d love to talk to you about your next project!   Read More >
Celebrating the Challenge of Difficult Spaces
This project at Villanova University celebrates the premise that the most sustainable buildings are the new ones that don’t get built. Reusing existing buildings is a more sustainable strategy, but these tricky transformations can test even creative architects on their problem-solving skills. In this extreme example of “using what you’ve…   Read More >
NGBS Task Force
Kurt Raymond recently attended a 2-day meeting in Washington, D.C. as a newly appointed member of the Energy Efficiency task force for the National Green Building Standard (NGBS). Task force members from all around the country are reviewing and developing proposed changes to the NGBS for recommmendation to the NGBS Consensus Committee.   Read More >
Revitalizing North Central Philadelphia
North Philly Rising Much has evolved over the years in North Philadelphia where Gilded-Age opulence and industry yielded to factory closings, poverty and crime. Making it great again is possible, but not easy. And so the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) pushes on with another herculean effort to revitalize a formerly…   Read More >
Philadelphia University Advancement Council
Project Designer, Erike De Veyra, Assoc. AIA, serves on the Advancement Council at her alma mater, Philadelphia University. She attended a Spring 2017 design session presenting ideas to deal with challenges of Higher Education and how it can benefit the architectural profession.    Read More >
Abandoned Woolworth + Leap of Faith = School for City Kids
Making the LeapThis is an if-you-build-it, you-hope-they-will-come story. The administrators of Freire Charter School took a leap of faith in crafting a new Middle School from the abandoned bowels of a former Woolworth store in Center City Philadelphia. The vision to transform a worn-out “five & dime” into a vibrant learning environment was…   Read More >
How You Make an Impact
What we do is an extension of ourselves. Whether it’s a book club, playing soccer, building furniture, or baking. We all find something, or many things, that keep oneself in equilibrium and a state of order. For me, I’m in the boat of “many things–” two boards, three committees, a…   Read More >
PennDesign Women in Architecture
Tracy Siegle and Mary Holland are participating in the PennDesign Women in Architecture program, pairing a working professional architect with an architecture student. The programs goal is to increase the incidence and visibility of women in architecture, bring awareness to the gender disparity that exists in the profession and cultivating…   Read More >
Passive House Designers
Earlier this summer, Kurt and I each sat for the Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) /Certified Passive House Designer (CPHD) exam, a comprehensive test that focuses on the stringent passive house standards and design methodologies required for a certified passive house building. As a CPHC/CPHD, one can aid in the…   Read More >
Accessibility in Older Buildings
Owning or managing a building requires having in place a business plan which typically includes an operating reserve fund. Cost for utilities and ordinary monthly expenses fall outside the reserve fund. The reserve fund covers the inevitable unexpected cost of maintaining a property, such as replacing the boiler when it…   Read More >
Quality Child Care Space
What Makes for Quality Child Care Space? In 2009, researchers in Child Development at St. Joseph’s University were involved in assessing the quality of local child care programs based on the ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale), a nationally-recognized standard. The ECERS attempts to apply ratings based on program processes…   Read More >
Analyzing Wall Assemblies
Selecting an exterior wall assembly might not be one of the most exciting decisions made when designing a new house, but it certainly is one of the most critical.   In this article we present some of our investigations into the thermal performance of some typical, and some less- typical, new…   Read More >
Buildings As Radiators
Until about fifty years ago, U.S. builders and homeowners weren’t terribly worried about insulating our houses. Once we started to care, we still had a lot to learn. In 1967, my father built a Capp Homes Finish-It-Yourself house on a site in the Iowa countryside. Their marketing pitch was “The…   Read More >