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Founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Center for Architecture (a 501(c)3 non-profit) performs the charitable and educational work of AIA Philadelphia. The Center's physical location opened in 2008 and serves as the chapter's home as well as a venue for public programs on architecture, urban planning, and design. The Center's stated three core principals are: public engagement, collaboration, and design excellence. [1]

Philadelphia Center for Architecture
1218 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 569.3186



The Center runs many ongoing and one-time programs for the general public related to architecture, urban planning, and design, including:
     Building Philadelphia: Architecture, History, & Politics lecture series (Annually in the Spring)
     CANstruction food can sculpture competition and food drive (Annually in the Spring)
     Louis I Kahn Memorial Lecture (Annually in May)
     Ed Bacon Student Design Competition (Annually in the Autumn)
     Edmund N Bacon Prize & Lecture (Annually in December)
     Emergence Of A Modern Metropolis walking tour (1 or 3 times per week, depending on season)
     Kids Architecture Workshops (Monthly)
     Architecture in Film series (Monthly)
     Book Talk series (Monthly)
     Design software training classes (As Scheduled)


The Center features ongoing and changing exhibitions, including:
     AIA Home Showcase (Annually in the Spring)
     Portraits of Excellence architectural photography (Annually in the Summer)
     Art by Architects (Annually in the Autumn)
     Constructing Play building toy exhibition (Annually in the Winter)
     Vintage Neon (Ongoing)
     3D Model of Center City Philadelphia (Ongoing)

Organizations housed at the Center for Architecture

The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1869, AIA Philadelphia is among the oldest and most accomplished of AIA Chapters, with a long history of service to members and the public. AIA Philadelphia organizes architects in the region for the purpose of advancing their influence in shaping the built environment, and their ability to effectively practice architecture in an ever-changing society and competitive marketplace. The Chapter provides opportunities for professional development, service, and collegiality among peers.

AIA Philadelphia represents nearly 1,400 member architects within four southeastern Pennsylvania counties: Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery. Through its myriad programs and events, the Chapter attracts design professionals from Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. The Chapter also represents more than 300 member architecture firms and 250 affiliate companies supplying products and services to the industry.[2]

Community Design Collaborative

The Community Design Collaborative is a volunteer organization that offers preliminary design assistance to nonprofit groups. The Collaborative meets with nonprofits at the beginning of a project, develops a scope of services to fit their needs, and recruits design professionals to provide the services pro bono. Nonprofits need preliminary design services early in the development process-when they are refining proposals, gathering support, and raising money. Unfortunately, funding is scarce for preliminary design work. The Collaborative is committed to giving more nonprofits access to preliminary design services.[3]

AIA Bookstore & Design Center

The AIA Bookstore & Design Center specializes in books on architectural theory, building construction, interior design, and furnishings. The store also has an extensive selection of toys for children, unique designer gifts, and Philadelphia-themed gifts. The store, which had been located in the Rittenhouse Square section of Center City Philadelphia for 31 years, now resides in a larger, more modern space near City Hall in the Center for Architecture at 1218 Arch Street. The store is open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm & Sundays 12pm - 5pm; they have extended hours during the winter holiday season.[4]


External links

Coordinates: 39°57′14″N 75°09′37″W / 39.9538°N 75.1604°W / 39.9538; -75.1604



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