SPAN: Our Blog

CICADA’s Hailey Starolis Featured Article in AIA’s CRIT Journal!
Future architect, CICADA designer, and Drexel student Hailey Starolis had a piece featured in AIA’s January 2019 edition of CRIT Journal.  Her article explores the creation of holistic communities, drawing on works from social scientist Jane Jacobs, urban planner Robert Moses, and Phillip Zimpardo’s “Broken Window Theory”, and shows how…   Read More >
New Marketing Coordinator Position at CICADA
CICADA Architecture/Planning collaborates with clients and communities by designing engaging and thoughtful places that are gracious in form, highly functional and contextual with the natural, man-made, social and cultural environments. The Marketing Coordinator plays a strategic role in advancing the firm’s mission and vision, ensuring that our efforts align with…   Read More >
Benchmark School’s Innovation Space Ribbon Cutting!
CICADA’s Kurt Raymond and Nana Biney were at the Grand Opening for the Benchmark School’s Innovation Space and Learning Lab in November. Nana was kind enough to bring her camera and share with us scenes from that night. The space itself is nestled in a bucolic woodland area, with full-length…   Read More >
PHA’s North Central II is Looking Good!
North Central Phase II is really starting to take shape! PHA had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on November 5 to celebrate it’s Grand Opening, and of course CICADA was there – along with Mayor Jim Kenney, project leaders from Philadelphia Housing Authority, Shoemaker/Synterra, and lots of great folks from the…   Read More >
Ribbon Cutting at Vernon Road Shopping District
CICADA is proud to have been a part of a wonderful revitalization project in Mount Airy. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Block Party for the Vernon Road Shopping District was held on Saturday, October 20, 2018, and in attendance were CICADA’s own Kurt Raymond and Daryn Edwards, in addition to…   Read More >
CICADA at the 22nd Annual Bowling Ball!
Nana Biney, Diana Nguyen and Geoff Klein bowling in stellar velcro-ping-pong costumes, hand-crafted by CICADA’s own Diana Nguyen and Tracy Siegle. This year’s theme was based on the hit Nickleodeon TV show, “Double Dare”                         The 2018 Bowling Ball…   Read More >
CICADA and DesignPhila Open Studio Crawl!
Join us Tuesday, October 9th from 5 – 7 pm for our Open Studio Tour and Happy Hour event! We’re teaming up with DesignPhiladelphia and hosting our Open Studio event during the Center City Design Crawl – all are welcome, bring your friends! See what we’re working on and enjoy…   Read More >
Work at PHA’s Mann Rivera – Phase 1 Under Way!
Rooftop View of the New Basketball Court at Mann Rivera Older Adult Community Center in North Philadelphia The Mann Rivera Older Adult Community Center – Phase 1 project is underway! This ambitious project has expanded in scope, and will include amenities that appeal to and serve all ages in the…   Read More >
Mary Holland at SCUP in Nashville TN
Enjoy these photos of the beautiful Nashville City Skyline, as see from the famed John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge; A view of the Pedestrian Bridge as it crosses from Downtown Nashville into the suburbs of East Nashville; The Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge with its sweeping arch, as it spans the…   Read More >
Offering Hope to the Homeless with Hub of Hope
In conjunction with Project HOME, the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA, CICADA completed work on the Hub of Hope project, which was unveiled in January 2018. A homeless engagement center located in a sub-concourse under the Municipal Services Building in Philadelphia, this is an endeavor that reaches out to the…   Read More >
PHA’s North Central Phase II Site Visit!
Sustainability Meets Practicality in North Philadelphia CICADA has teamed up with Philadelphia Housing Authority on the Phase II of the Choice Neighborhood project, located in Philadelphia’s North Central Neighborhood. Consisting of 53 buildings and spanning 8 blocks, this mixed-income and affordable housing project contains multiple footprints for single-family, multi-family, and…   Read More >
We’re Hiring!
Studio Staff Openings CICADA Architecture/Planning is a mission-driven team of designers brought together by a mutual passion to create thoughtful architecture for communities and educational institutions.  We are seeking Project Architects and Interior Designers who are inquisitive, thorough and design-driven, and who are motivated to create engaging buildings and spaces that…   Read More >
CICADA Designer Dana Rice on RePoint Philadelphia and Preservation in Design and Development
CICADA’s    Dana Rice wrote a fascinating article in Hidden City on issues surrounding historic preservation, and how the recent influx of development is affecting our neighborhoods and treasured buildings – read more here!     Read More >
Sacred Spaces Civic Places Event – with CICADA and St. James School
The Community Design Collaborative hosted their Sacred Spaces/Civic Places design event on June 5, 2018, and CICADA was in attendance! Dana Rice, Daryn Edwards and Kurt Raymond were part of the amazing group of designers who presented boards, and CICADA is pleased to have presented on our work in collaboration with St. James School.…   Read More >
CICADA’s Geoff Klein Receives Architectural License!
After years of hard work, study and preparation, Geoffrey W. Klein has passed the The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) and earned his license of architecture in Pennsylvania in 2018. As a teaching firm, we believe in the continuing education process and support all our team members in their professional development endeavors. We are…   Read More >
Leverage 2018 Sponsorship and Gala!
What an amazing team we have here at CICADA. A big shout out to Daryn Edwards for putting together a beautiful board for Community Design Collaborative’s Leverage 2018! In addition to our own design presentation at the event, CICADA was also a proud sponsor for the event, held April 10th…   Read More >
Dox Thrash House
CICADA Architectural Designer, Dana Rice, Assoc. AIA, along with colleagues of The Dox Thrash House organization lead efforts to preserve the artist’s legacy in Sharswood. To find out more of their efforts, check out this Hidden City Philadelphia article.   Read More >
Benchmark School INNOVATION SPACE Groundbreaking
After many months of planning, the Benchmark School is thrilled to announce the construction of a state-of-the art learning facility for all of our students – The BENCHMARK INNOVATION SPACE. CICADA is supporting this design-build effort with design architect SHoP Architects. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday, March 16, 2018 in Media,…   Read More >
Community Revitalization: How to Bring a Community Back from the Brink, In the Age of Gentrification
The re-opening of the shuttered Roberts Vaux High School is a story of a bold vision to catalyze the rebirth of a neighborhood through the preservation, restoration and adaptation of this impressive building. A unique assembly of different programs within the building  is an exciting and innovative undertaking for the…   Read More >
Mary Holland, AIA recently attended the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit in Washington, D.C. Here’s her takeaway
Mary Holland, AIA participated in the first Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) Summit: The Big Power of Small Business in Washington, D.C. February 13th to 14th. The gathering of over 2,2000 small business owners was organized by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and brought together graduates of…   Read More >
Project HOME’s Hub of Hope Doors Open January 2018
On Tuesday, January 30th, 2018, Project HOME, the City of Philadelphia, and SEPTA celebrated the opening of the newest homeless engagement center, Hub of Hope, in the sub-concourse of the Municipal Services Building in Center City Philadelphia. Attending guests included Mayor Jim Kenney, musician and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi, and…   Read More >
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 >
Phase I of Rivera Recreation and Mann Older Adult Center Breaks Ground
CICADA Architecture/Planning, Inc. lead the multi-consultant team on the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Property phased Building and Site Improvements to Rivera Recreation Center and Mann Old Adult Center. This project includes an assessment of existing building/systems conditions; programming/phasing; expansion/reorganization of the Older Adult Center and the Rec Center involving…   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!
  Studio Staff Openings CICADA Architecture/Planning, Inc., is a mission-driven team of talented individuals brought together by a mutual passion to create thoughtful architecture for communities and education institutions. As we look to expand our collaborative team of designers, we seek qualified candidates who would be impassioned and motivated to…   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 >