About Strada

Strada means “street” in Italian. Streets matter to us. They’re the fundamental infrastructure of our cities and the core of our civic lives. They’re the connections between buildings, people, and public spaces. This is why we’re so inspired by them and it’s a shared commitment to these values that brought our principals together. Just as people mingle on city streets, our office is a place where we freely exchange ideas, challenging and inspiring one another to create exceptional work.

Latest Post

Strada’s Newest Creative Mind

01.2018

Last month, we welcomed an extraordinary architectural designer, Timothy “Timo” Ong to our team. Not only has he hit the ground running with projects and proposals, but he does so with a spirited energy, air of positivity, and always with a smile on his face. Timo’s experience and passion for design excellence perfectly complements our ...

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Pittsburgh

611 William Penn Place
Suite 700
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

p: 412.263.3800
f: 412.471.5704

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info@stradallc.com

Philadelphia

718 Arch Street
Suite 5N
Philadelphia, PA 19106

p: 215.440.0190
f: 215.440.0197

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Street Talk

Fresh ideas about design

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Don’t let the meter run out

10.2014Design, Ideas, Places
By Stacey Humphreys Blankin, LEED ND

Ah, the revered parking spot: it’s close; it’s convenient. At times it’s worth doing circles for, maybe making an aggressive move towards, and even paying a hefty fee, all to claim a temporary place to keep our four-wheeled vehicles safe and sound. But in the end, that’s pretty much it… That’s all they do. String these spots together and we get ribbons and ribbons of asphalt crisscrossing our cities and towns. And worst of all, they frequently lay fallow at off-peak times—empty and waiting.

But in 2005, art and design studio Rebar, unfurled a roll of sod, wheeled in a bench and lugged a potted tree to a parking space in the heart of San Francisco, where for 2 hours, passers-by came and went until the meter ran out. People could gather, sit, chat, contemplate and simply watch the day go by from the 187-SF grassy knoll. And they did.

The first PARK(ing) Day sparked a global dialogue. (Photo: http://rebargroup.org/parking/)

The first PARK(ing) Day sparked a global dialogue. (Photo: http://rebargroup.org/parking/)

This simple intervention launched a dialogue that now stretches around the world. We revisit that conversation each year on the third Friday of September. PARK(ing) Day transforms metered parking spaces into temporary parklets that incite public discourse on open space.

As active placemakers who spend a lot of time thinking about what makes a place memorable and inviting, we took advantage of this year’s PARK(ing) Day to pose the question, “What makes a place great?” on the streets of Philadelphia.

To spark the conversation, we took turns answering first—each jotting down words and phrases that came to mind. Our responses tended to reflect the characteristics that define spaces; amenities like “street trees and bike lanes,” or “miles and miles of trails,” “places to sit down,” or “something to look at.”

In contrast, passers-by often came back to one thing—people. Surprised?

Parking Day_02_575w

People need people. They might not always want to talk with them but they like them around. They like to share the same space. They are drawn to places with people and the promise of crossing paths with familiar faces and new acquaintances.

Parking Day_04_575w

The answers were really only surprising compared to our responses. In the end, they were reinforcing. People are social beings who crave people, and nature—daylight, foliage, and fresh air; who can only work so hard for so long without reconnecting, recharging, reenergizing.

The seeds of this PARK(ing) Day dialogue are growing; the conversation is getting louder. Are these spaces intimate or sweeping? Green or shady? Art or music-infused? They are likely all and none of these things. But the value of these public open spaces is undeniable.

Let’s keep the dialogue going. Don’t let the meter run out.

Parking Day_03_575w

To see more photos from PARK(ing) Day, please visit our Facebook page.

Stacey Humphreys Blankin, LEED AP ND holds a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning and has a special interest in vibrant communities with outdoor spaces big and small that enable people to cross paths, mingle, rest and play, meander and frolic.

Strada’s Newest Creative Mind

01.2018People, Uncategorized
By Street Talk Editor

Last month, we welcomed an extraordinary architectural designer, Timothy “Timo” Ong to our team. Not only has he hit the ground running with projects and proposals, but he does so with a spirited energy, air of positivity, and always with a smile on his face. Timo’s experience and passion for design excellence perfectly complements our ...
Read more >>

6 Signs Your Office Needs a Refresh

10.2017Design, Ideas, Places
By Tom Price

When was the last time you refreshed your office, academic, or social space? If the answer is 10 years or more, it’s definitely time to consider making updates. Maintaining a workplace that is relevant and performative is critical to keeping a sharp competitive edge. It also helps recruit and retain the best talent while improving ...
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