This single-family, eight-level rowhome tucks neatly into the eclectic fabric of Philadelphia’s architecture. By altering the traditional rowhome model to become multi-leveled, space for living is maximized. While it appears small from the street, once inside, high ceilings and ample glazing provide visual continuity while a stair-core physically connects all levels. The landings of this central stair become the home’s only hallways. A variety of outdoor environments are provided allowing the homeowner to experience a constant shift in perception as they move through the building: a sunken rear yard becomes a gathering place for parties while a small deck on the upper level is a private platform for viewing the city.
To juxtapose the dynamic interior, the front facade is purposefully quiet. It is clad in a single material and is devoid of the utility equipment that typically clutters urban projects. Even the systems are reduced to a single source, electricity. It represents a version of what all urban infill homes can be.
From the initial client meeting to project completion, climate-adapted urbanism was the genesis for design thinking and execution. Making use of Passive House principles, such as a continuous air-tight layer, fresh air ventilation, increased exterior insulation and foam-free assemblies, the built project responsibility addresses the local climate while joining a global conversation of building resilience. It represents an alternate version of the potential for urban housing to change the trajectory of our climate.
Project Metrics & Systems:
Project Airtightness: 0.30 ACH 50 (ten times tighter than current building code in Philadelphia)
HERS Index Score: 43
Energy Recovery Ventilation
Reduced heating and cooling system size
All electric systems
High interior air quality