Project Title

Environmental Education Center

Project Information

Location Pennsauken, NJ
Client NJ Natural Lands Trust
Status Unbuilt
Years 2013

Project Description

Petty’s Island stands in the Delaware River, between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. When the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust decided to turn it into an urban nature preserve, they asked us to help with the groundwork.

Our feasibility study for the island evaluated four potential sites for building a new Cultural and Educational Center as a focal point for the preserve. All four sites explored environmentally-friendly designs for a 10,000-square-foot building, complete with an observation area with expansive views of the island, the Delaware River, and the Philadelphia skyline.


HONEST  //  Not only did we want to build an environmentally-conscious building, we wanted people to see that right away. So our plans used recycled shipping containers as the building itself.


PROGRESSIVE  //  Building in a nature preserve is complex. We worked hard to minimize the impact on surrounding wetland, while simultaneously educating the public about nature conservation.

Project Timeline

February 12

Next Previous
  • Program Diagram
Program Diagram 
  • Aerial
Aerial View 
  • entry_pettys island


  • Exterior V-1
updated by Stephen Giorgio

January 22

Next Previous
  • Site Analysis
  • site analysis report15
  • Shipping Container
 The new educational center is proposed to be constructed using shipping containers as a nod to the islands long shipping history. 
  • Historic Photo
  • site analysis report20
  • Shipping Containers
updated by Stephen Giorgio

December 8

Next Previous
  • Skyline Image

Views of the Philadelphia Skyline

  • Site Image 6

The island is home to various wildlife including a Bald Eagle.

  • pettyisland site image warehouse
Site Visit Photos 
  • 100 4010
  • 100 4011
  • Site Image 5
  • Site Image 4
  • 100 4002
  • Site Image 3
  • Site Image 1
updated by Stephen Giorgio