October 11, 2021 Blog

Penn’s Landing: Updated Park Design

We are excited to unveil the latest designs for the new park at Penn’s Landing.

From in-person meetings and focus groups across the city, to surveys, and even comments on social media, your feedback has sparked a vision for the park that will truly make this your park, Philly!

Join the design team for a very exciting update as they share how they made changes, pivots, and a few swivels to create a space based on what you want to see. Enjoy brand new renderings and an overview of each section of the park along with a run down of all the design details.

This video isn’t the end of the updates; there is so much to tell you about the work that’s been done the last two years. In the coming weeks, check back for more design updates, including park access diagrams, more renderings, and other park design information.

Although the design is wrapping up, there is still plenty of time for you to share what types of programs and events you want to see at the park by completing this survey .

For a captioned version of this video, visit our YouTube page.


Tour the park design 

We’re so excited to show you some of the highlights of the latest design work featured in the design update video, inspired by and in response to, the feedback so many of you gave over the last two years.

Aerial View of the New Park at Penn’s Landing and Site Plan 
Enjoy a birds-eye view of the entire park and all its amazing design elements. This groundbreaking public space will bridge over I-95 and slope downward to reconnect Old City to the Delaware River.

© HargreavesJones

Knight Commons 
Throughout our engagement, the feedback we heard most often was that you wanted a park with small, flexible spaces for relaxing and community gatherings. The southeast corner of the park, known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Commons, now features smaller nooks for programming and small-group experiences or for relaxing with a book by the river, nestled within beautiful gardens with native flowering plants and trees. Other amenities include a versatile shade structure for both small events or lounging on warm, summer days, and an interactive fountain for children of all ages.

© HargreavesJones

The RiverRink Plaza in the Winter 
So many of you talked about how much you love the current character and warmth of Winterfest so we made sure the new design still allows DRWC to carry on the traditions and feeling of the current ice rink in the new design. The new park will reimagine favorite wintertime traditions residents and visitors have come to know and love. This depiction showcases the multi-purpose plaza transformed into an ice rink featuring firepit areas and cozy cabins.

© HargreavesJones

The RiverRink Plaza in the Summer 
You wanted a multi-purpose space that can be programmed in a variety of ways, year-round. In the summer, this multi-purpose plaza can function as a marketplace, a roller rink, a screening area for movie nights, and an ice rink during the winter. The possibilities are endless!

© HargreavesJones

Play Area
When we asked folks about their ideas for the park’s playground,  we heard that you wanted dynamic, free-form play spaces for kids of all ages and abilities. Inspired by the Pennsylvania woodlands, the park’s new play area will be unlike anything in the city. Children will be invited to climb, crawl, swing, and run on a variety of different structures shaped like woodland creatures, boulders, hills, and forts all nestled within a shady grove of trees.

© HargreavesJones

South View of the Park at Dusk
Many of you expressed your appreciation of the waterfront’s current casual and welcoming feel, as well as a strong interest in seeing a park and building designed with environmental sustainability in mind.

One of the elements we’re very excited about is the mass-timber building at the center of the park, which will welcome residents and visitors as they seek to learn more about what the Waterfront and Philadelphia has to offer. This building will house the café, a pavilion, and be Philadelphia’s first net zero carbon building, meaning both its construction and its operations will be carbon neutral.

The pavilion will house point-of-sales for tickets and skate rentals, public bathrooms, flexible rental spaces for parties and other events, and some of the DRWC offices.

© HargreavesJones and KieranTimberlake

The Interior of the Café Interior 
We heard over and over again that you wanted a wide variety of food options in the park for all tastes and budgets. The park will host a variety of changing food options from trucks, to carts, to food-based programming. The park will have a permanent café, too. This state-of-the-art building with a warm, casual interior, takes advantage of the stunning views of the Delaware River and the Ben Franklin Bridge. Have an idea of what you would like to eat and drink in the new park? Let us know by completing our survey.

© KieranTimberlake

The Breezeway 
Open to the air, but featuring a covered roof to protect from the sun and rain, The Breezeway’s iconic shape will serve as an event space and a gateway between the north and south sections of the park.

© KieranTimberlake

Irish and Scottish Memorials
The new park design also includes the Irish and Scottish Memorials, which have been located on the current Chestnut Street cap for many years. The design team worked closely with the board members of both memorials to ensure the design of the new spaces was faithful to the original intent. The two memorials have been temporarily relocated to Foglietta Plaza during park construction and will be reinstalled in their new, permanent location at Front and Walnut Streets.

© HargreavesJones 

The Delaware River Trail
As important as the design of the park is for park visitors, we did not forget about the experience of the Delaware River Trail that runs underneath the park along Columbus Boulevard. The existing trail will be built to its final design between Chestnut and Walnut Streets. This portion of the trail will include an artistic barrier protecting pedestrian and bicycle traffic from vehicles, as well as artistic lighting and wall treatments to ensure that the space feels attractive and welcoming for trail users.

© NV5


This is part three in a three-part Park Design Video Series about the history of the Park at Penn’s Landing design and public engagement process. Review part one, Penn’s Landing: A New Vision, for the history behind the reimagined Penn’s Landing, and part two Penn’s Landing: Gathering Community Input about the public engagement process.


Last updated: Thursday, February 15, 2024