AIA Philadelphia boasts nearly 1,000 architects and related professionals as members, and is one of the most active AIA Chapters in the nation. The Chapter founded two organizations to serve the public: the Community Design Collaborative and Charter High School for Architecture + Design. In 2008 the Center for Architecture was established for the charitable and educational work of AIA Philadelphia. The AIA Bookstore offers a unique selection of gifts at its Arch Street location and through its online store.
Operated by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the AIA Bookstore began as a resource and information center for attendees of the 1976 AIA national convention in Philadelphia. The store offers a wide selection of architecture books, AIA Contract Documents, personal and executive gifts, and creative childrens' toys. Visit us inside the Center for Architecture and Design, located at 1218 Arch Street in the heart of Center City, just steps away from the Reading Terminal Market and across the street from the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Founded in 2002 by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Philadelphia), the Center provides the public with a place to explore architecture, urban planning, and design, allowing them to understand how these creative professions affect us all in our daily lives. Using Philadelphia's distinctive breadth of architecture, pioneering urban design, and manufacturing heritage as the foundation for discussion, we educate the public through walking tours, exhibitions, guest speakers, hands-on workshops, design competitions, festivals, and children’s programming.
CHAD was founded in 1999 by the Philadelphia Chapeter of the American Institute of Architects as the Legacy Project of the AIA National Convention held in Philadelphia in May, 2000. Located at 7th and Sansom Streets in Center City, the school is a 26,000 sf building within close proximity to Independence Mall, Washington Square Park, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia (a private architectural library). The first charter school of its kind in the country, CHAD opened its doors to approximately 400 students in grades 9 through 11 in September, 1999, and graduated its first class of 49 seniors in June, 2001. Today, it enrolls over 500 students.
The Community Design Collaborative is a volunteer organization that offers free preliminary design assistance to nonprofit groups. The Collaborative meets with nonprofits at the beginning of a project, develops a scope of services to fit their needs, and recruits design professionals to provide the services at no cost. Nonprofits need preliminary design services early in the development process-when they are refining proposals, gathering support, and raising money. Unfortunately, funding is scarce for preliminary design work. The Collaborative is committed to giving more nonprofits access to preliminary design services.