The Schuylkill Center

On View through Fall 2010

Gimme Shelter is a showcase of six temporary, functional woodland shelters to enhance the experience of visitors to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, a 350-acre nature preserve in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. The project is meant to build awareness of the applied possibilities and meaning of sustainability and its impacton our lives and our connection to the natural world. The competition encouraged collaboration between artists, designers and architects, in order to demonstrate and promote new, unique, and inspiring approaches to sustainable design and building techniques.


Twelve semi-finalist designs were recently chosen from over 80 designs submitted by 65 teams from across the country and internationally, including Spain, Portugal, Korea, and the UK.  The semi-finalists were chosen by a panel of six distinguished jurors:



(See RFP for design criteria.)


The six finalist designs to be built were selected from the twelve semi-finalists.


See the 6 Semi-Finalist Designs here


Instructional Packet for the 6 Shelters



Gimme Shelter is being coordinated by the Schuylkill Center’s Art Program Director Mary Salvante, and Art Program Manager Zoë Cohen. Gimme Shelter is funded by the William Penn Foundation, with additional funding from The Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, and is presented in partnership with The Center for Architecture and the American Institute of Architects- Philadelphia
The Engineering and Design Institute at Philadelphia University, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, The Delaware Valley Green Building Council


This program is sponsored by SMP Architects and Viridian Landscape Studio. In addition to our partners and sponsors, we would like to thank the following organizations for their support of individual shelters:
Bird/Seed Shelter: Limeworks, DeGruchy Masonry, Metal Dimensions, North Creek Nurseries
Firefly: CRNG LLC, Accountancy Firm, Cubic Tech Corporation, Fairmount Park Commission, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Mosee, Manayunk Lumber, Rivera Structural LLC, Friends of the Wissahickon
Bambooze! : Morris Arboretum, W. Hargrove Demolition
RainShelter: Buckminster Green
RainSail: Roofscapes Inc., SMP ARCHITECTS, Viridian Landscape Studio
Woodland Canopy:


For sponsorship opportunities and other inquiries, please contact Art Program Manager Zoë Cohen at:, 215-482-7300 x113


Find us on Facebook!









Rebecca Popowsky & Riggs Skepnek

Philadelphia, PA


Bird/Seed Shelter

Julia Molloy and Taka Sarui

New York, NY



Rashida Ng & Nami Yamamoto

Philadelphia, PA



Gabriela Sanz Rodríguez & Carlos Martínez Mediero

Madrid, Spain


Rain Sail

Team Strada
Alexa Bosse & Ari Miller

Philadelphia, PA

Finalist Alternate

Woodland Canopy

FORM Design Collaborative

Philadelphia, PA