The Delaware River will be getting a cool new attraction. Philadelphia Contemporary recently announced plans to place a two-story, 15,000 sq. ft. floating art gallery on the Delaware River. Inspired by the Water Department’s plans to build a floating classroom on the Schylkill, Philadelphia Contemporary has raised funds to open a floating attraction of their own.
“The gallery will be built on a barge that will be moored between Cherry and Race Street piers on the Delaware River and will accommodate a 15,000SF two-story gallery building comprising a lobby, guest services, galleries, performance spaces, a studio, a classroom, offices, and a café. Outdoor terraces at either end of the barge are connected by a path along the southern edge. Solar PV panels will allow the building to have a net-zero energy consumption on an annual basis. The gallery will be periodically unmoored and tugged to different sites along the east coast,” states local real estate publication Rising Real Estate.
Designed by local architect firm Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, the design has already received awards from the American Institute of Architects’ Pennsylvania COTE Citation for environmental design excellence. The designers hope that the gallery will not only provide a place for artist to share their work but for guests to also learn more about the waterways.
As mentioned, the gallery will be mobile and Philadelphia Contemporary plans to use tug boats to showcase the gallery at various New Jersey shore points including Cape May and possibly New York City. However, it will be some time before the gallery will be open. Designers estimate eight months of additional one and a half years of additional designing and permit processing and once that’s done it will take another 18 months to build it.