It was only a week ago when we dropped new renderings for the eagerly anticipated Calder Gardens, a brand-new gallery coming to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. We had some idea of what was to come, but details were scant, which was especially intriguing giving the unorthodox design featuring a mix of structured subterranean galleries and lush gardens to showcase Alexander Calder‘s works. But thanks to a recent submission to the Art Commission, we now have a great deal more info on this incredible project designed by the team of Herzog & de Meuron and Piet Oudulf. Let’s take a visual journey through the experience of the Garden as the architect intended, shall we? Hold on tight, because there is a lot to take in.

CalderUpdate2-05 Entry Pavilion
An understated entrance offers a bit of mystery as to what's inside
CalderGardens Map
Map shows the location of Calder Gardens in red, along the Parkway between 21st & 22nd St.
CalderUpdate2-site Plan
Site plan shows overall layout of the structure and gardens
CalderUpdate2-01 View From Parkway
Daytime view from the Parkway
CalderUpdate2-1 Parkway View At Night
Nighttime view from the same angle shows the ethereal lighting
CalderUpdate2-02 View From 676
View looking north over 676
CalderUpdate2-2 676view At Night
Same view at nighttime
CalderUpdate2-03 Drop Off
Site plan shows passenger drop off along 22nd St.
CalderUpdate2-04 Access Through Gardens
A meadow-like approach to the main entrance to the Gardens
CalderUpdate2-06 Lobby Access
Schematic drawing shows how lobby is connected to rest of structure
CalderUpdate2-07 Ground Floor
Ground floor site plan shows off layout
CalderUpdate2-08 Lobby
Rendering of lobby shows muted, natural tones, along with some gift shop goodies
CalderUpdate2-10 Highway Gallery
Layout of staircase-like Highway Gallery
CalderUpdate2-11 Highway Gallery And Stairs To Lobby
Highway Gallery overlooks 676 and connects other galleries to the lobby
CalderUpdate2-12 Gallery Section
Section drawing of galleries shows how most of building is below grade
CalderUpdate2-13 Highway Gallery And Tall Gallery
Rendering of the Highway Gallery and Tall Gallery, showing off expansive ceiling heights
CalderUpdate2-14 Gallery Level
Another drawing shows the position of the Gallery level
CalderUpdate2-15 Cuboid Star
The Cuboid Stair offers plenty of intrigue and mystery as one proceeds through the Gardens
CalderUpdate2-16 Tall Gallery
Site plan shows off the Tall Gallery, the first of the gallery level areas
CalderUpdate2-17 Tall Gallery
Another rendering of the Tall Gallery
CalderUpdate2-18 Open Plan Gallery
The Open Plan Gallery is the next area on our Calder journey
CalderUpdate2-19 Open Plan Gallery
Rendering of the Open Plan Gallery, with access to Garden areas on both sides
CalderUpdate2-20 Open Plan Gallery
Another view of the Open Plan Gallery, looking out to the Vestige Garden
CalderUpdate2-21 Sunken Gallery
The Sunken Garden is just off of the Open Gallery
CalderUpdate2-22 Sunken Garden
The Sunken Garden, perhaps our favorite area of the entire project
CalderUpdate2-23 Curve Gallery
The Curve Gallery wraps around the Sunken Garden
CalderUpdate2-24 Curve Gallery
Rendering of the Curve Gallery living up to its name
CalderUpdate2-25 Apse Gallery
The Apse Gallery hiding off of the Open Gallery
CalderUpdate2-26 Apse Gallery
A model of the Apse Gallery
CalderUpdate2-27 Apse Gallery
Another view of the nook-like area
CalderUpdate2-28 Apse Gallery
Another view of this almost secret area
CalderUpdate2-29 Vestige Garden
Vestige Garden consists mostly of outdoor space
CalderUpdate2-30 Vestige Garden
A view of the Vestige Garden
CalderUpdate2-32 Vestige Garden
Another rendering of the gorgeous Vestige Garden
CalderUpdate2-34 Quasi Gallery
The Quasi Gallery is the final part of our journey
CalderUpdate2-33 Quasi Gallery Section
Section drawing shows how Quasi Gallery will fit in
CalderUpdate2-35 Quasi Gallery
A rendering of the Quasi Gallery provides another intimate space for Calder's art

If this doesn’t get you excited for what’s in store for the Parkway, we’re not sure what will. Calder Gardens will form one of the coolest and most impressive buildings anywhere in the city, adding even more excitement to the arts scene while bringing in prize-winning architects to boot. It almost feels like a found place, with the structured, monochromatic artworks forming a striking contrast to the organic textures and colors throughout. This will offer yet another wonderful institution for both locals and tourists alike, providing even more reason for folks to come stay the night in Philly. Construction is slated to get started this fall, with work wrapping up towards the end of 2024. We will anxiously await our chance to make our way through the gallery, as it appears it will offer a wonderful respite from the traffic of the highways and roadways that surround the site, plus some culture to boot.