August 10, 2023


Join us in congratulating Brad Thornton, ASLA LEED AP on his promotion to Principal at Ground Reconsidered. An outstanding contributor to the firm for over 15 years, Brad’s innate design sensibility, project management skills, technical resourcefulness and infectious sense of humor has made him a natural leader within the firm and a champion for thoughtfully designed and beautifully detailed spaces throughout the Philadelphia region. Never one to shy away from complex site challenges, Brad is as passionate about the form and aesthetic quality of urban sites as he is about protecting and enhancing the natural environment. Brad’s favorite projects combine the two: Hawthorne Park in South Philadelphia, Iovance Biotherapeutics at the Navy Yard, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s New Patient Tower. Taking inspiration from natural places he loves to visit – Adirondacks, Maine, Arizona to name a few – each of these projects creates spaces for respite and nourishment for both people and creatures who inhabit the world with us.

When not in the office much of Brad’s energy goes into restoring his 1940’s house, designing and constructing an ever-expanding chicken coop for his small flock, and expanding the native plant habitat including rain gardens and pollinator-friendly gardens.

Congratulations to Brad!

May 16, 2022


Community. It’s at the heart of our work at Ground Reconsidered. We take immense pride in the depth and talent of our extraordinary staff and are excited to welcome our new senior associate Sarah Endriss, ASLA to the firm. Sarah brings 25+ years of experience in the fields of landscape architecture, historic preservation, and community planning. Her passion for place and nature shows in what she does: connecting people with each other through their shared environments, and fostering appreciation, understanding, and respect of the natural world.

Prior to joining Ground Reconsidered, Sarah was principal of Asarum Land Design, where she focused on socially engaged/participatory design and ecological stewardship. Sarah’s work at the John B. Kelly Elementary School is emblematic of her aspirations. “The students and families in this community had so few opportunities outdoors…by creating spaces that children can play, learn and grow, the community wins. A project like this demonstrates that sustainability, and beauty, is not only attainable, but something communities should expect.” At Kelly Green, the playground and garden will incorporate green stormwater strategies, increasing habitat and biodiversity and restoring local ecology.

Sarah’s knowledge, enthusiasm, experience and professional relationships will be fully integrated in her work at Ground Reconsidered. An educator at heart, Sarah serves as adjunct professor at Jefferson University, where she has taught courses in local flora and plant community ecology, soils, landscape ecology, and sustainable design.

We are delighted to welcome Sarah to the award-winning Ground Reconsidered team and are confident that she will inspire us all.

May 2, 2022


For a good read, check out the latest edition of CONTEXT MAGAZINE, published by the Philadelphia chapter of the AIA. BIG things are happening in Philadelphia!


April 22, 2022

Iovance Biotherapeutics at 300 Rouse Boulevard was a finalist in the SBN Excellence in GIS Awards 2022

Ground Reconsidered’s project, Iovance Biotherapeutics at 300 Rouse Boulevard, was among five finalists this year vying for an Excellence in GSI Award presented by the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.

After extensive evaluation, Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc. chose the Philadelphia Navy Yard to transform a vacant lot into its new LEED Gold late-stage biotechnology facility for the commercial and clinical production of cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) technology. A smart, forward-thinking building and site design relates to the innovation happening within the building and greater Navy Yard district.

From the parking lot, where most employees and visitors arrive, the building wraps a central courtyard on three sides and is open to the parking lot. Early in the design process, the decision was made to celebrate stormwater management. In place of a traditional corporate courtyard, the entire courtyard space is a bioretention basin. Instead of an extensive green roof that would not be seen or experienced, roof runoff is managed via the basin in the courtyard, central to the daily arrival experience. In anticipation of future development of the parking lot, runoff is managed using a subsurface retention basin located with the intent to avoid removal during future development phases.

The planting palette that we developed was carefully chosen to provide biodiversity and habitat using native and adaptive species, primarily for insects and birds, while being resistant to deer grazing habits at the Navy Yard. Native trees, shrubs and other plants were selected to thrive and provide an eco-rich landscape, while also being low-maintenance in a dynamic floodplain. Now an established landscape, the planting areas only need maintenance attention a few time during the year.

Along with Ground Reconsidered, the planning and design team included DIGSAU Architects and Pennoni Engineers. Gattuso Development Partners was the client.



April 21, 2022

City of Wilmington and West Side Grows Officially Open an Innovative New Community-Designed Playground at Cool Spring Park

For the past five years, Ground Reconsidered has worked the City of Wilmington and West Side Grows Together to bring this project to life.  The community in Wilmington’s west side neighborhoods previously identified park improvements as one of their highest priorities. Through a series of public meetings and activities hosted by Ground Reconsidered, we collected data and developed the master plan with ideas and inspiration from the students who attend the nearby school. For more information and insight, check out the following article.

November 12, 2021

Ground Reconsidered will be part of the design team to “re-imagine” the Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Ground Reconsidered is proud to announce that we are a member of the design team, led by Design Workshop, that has been selected to “re-imagine” the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The goal of the project is to create a world-class public realm plan for a people-centric Parkway for the future. This past summer the City held an Ideas Workshop, during which the three finalist design teams presented ideas and inspiration for modernizing and pedestrianizing the Parkway. The winning team was selected through a competitive process led by the City of Philadelphia and supported by Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. The project is made possible by a grant from the William Penn Foundation.

As stated by Mayor Jim Kenney, “The Benjamin Franklin Parkway is Philadelphia’s grand boulevard, a historic cultural epicenter that has the opportunity to become a vibrant, bustling public space for all Philadelphians, the team selected to carry out this work is as bold, spectacular, and rooted in local pride as the Parkway itself.”

The project is scheduled to commence early in 2022 with design and community engagement and is expected to last 12-18 months.


September 2, 2021

Celebrating 30 Years of Design Excellence

March 29, 2021

Maplewood Mall receives APBP Project of the Year Award

Maplewood Mall has been awarded the Project of the Year for 2021 from the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (apbp).

Maplewood Mall is located in Philadelphia’s Central Germantown Business District. The mall, bookended by two public plazas, is lined by two and three story buildings with ground floor storefronts. The mall was created from Maplewood Avenue in the 1970’s by converting the original street into the curbless pedestrian-scale street it is today. No major physical improvements had been made since its inception, and the mall’s infrastructure was poor condition. The goal of the reconstruction was to improve the physical condition of the mall and utilize a community driven design for the roadway and public plazas that supports the needs of the business owners and residents while re-invigorating this once vibrant community hub.

Through a series of public meetings and presentations, Ground Reconsidered and the project’s prime consultant worked with the community to develop a vision for the site. We employed our design experience to implement a low-maintenance infrastructure and put together placemaking strategies to promote the success of the project’s design.

Our congratulations go out to the community and to all the individuals and firm that were involved in making this project a reality.

June 25, 2020

Ground Reconsidered Receives 2020 PA-DE ASLA Honor Awards for The Discovery Center and Penn Alexander School

We are pleased to announce that two of our projects received 2020 Professional Design Awards from the PA-DE Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. We received an Honor Award for General Design for THE DISCOVERY CENTER, and an Honor Award for Analysis and Planning for the PENN ALEXANDER SCHOOL: RE-IMAGINING THE SCHOOLYARD.

The Discovery Center’s design presented complicated challenges which involved balancing programming needs for the two primary organizations who use the site: Audubon Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Outward Bound.  The design preserves and strategically enhances the existing habitat which attracts 200+ types of bird, including rare migratory species.  The design reveals the sense of discovery when one first encounters the hidden lake behind the center, opening it to the surrounding neighborhood and Philadelphia beyond.

The plan for Penn Alexander School positions the school as a leader in innovative schoolyard design. It presents children with a stimulating and challenging play setting, fosters learning through play, and connects children to the natural world. It provides teaching opportunities and curriculum development for the school’s faculty. Design consensus was achieved through robust stakeholder outreach that included innovative techniques to gather input from diverse groups, while introducing elementary age students to the profession of Landscape Architecture.


2018 PA-DE ASLA Award of Merit

October 29, 2018

Bartram’s Garden Restoration earns 2018 PA-DE ASLA Award of Merit

We are proud to announce the PA-DE ASLA Chapter has honored our work at Bartram’s Garden with a 2018 Award of Merit in the general design category. This restoration marks the first major garden restoration project at Bartram’s Garden in nearly a century. Through extensive research and collaboration with the John Bartram’s Association, we have restored the Carr Garden as it existed when Ann Bartram Carr (1779-1858) was in residence. Ground Reconsidered is humbled to be included amongst the excellent PA-DE ASLA Chapter award recipients. Click here to read more on the 2018 Awards on the PA-DE ASLA Website.