Fishtown Residence #1

Client: Private Developer

The primary goals for this speculative development were to find ways to accommodate three separate condominium units on a tight urban site while maintaining the quality of space offered by typical single family homes in this neighborhood.  Additionally each unit would have access to its own private outdoor space and access to natural daylight in all rooms in the home.

South Kensington Residence

Client: Private Developer

Taking advantage of the growing popularity of the South Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia, this project seeks to develop a rich conversation between domestic space, the landscape, and the city.  Utilizing sustainable design strategies, copious amounts of natural light, and natural ventilation throughout, the initial studies presented (at right) document our initial thoughts on how to build a gracious home on the site of an abandoned automotive mechanic shop in this formerly industrial zone.  Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project...

Germantown Avenue Planning Study

Client: Private Developer.

Germantown Avenue in South Kensington has suffered from blight for much of recent memory but has begun to enjoy a resurgence over the past few years.  Our studio has been engaged by our client to imagine what might be possible in this blossoming neighborhood in ten, twenty, or thirty years.  

Bella Vista Residence

Client: Private Homeowner.

This small property has the same shortcomings as most urban lots do, a great home with little or no outdoor space for entertaining or relaxing.

The primary charge of this project was to develop a roof deck with access that does not allow guests to inadvertantly wander into the master suite located on the top floor.  This project takes advantage of the placement of the stair and key design features to maximize daylight on the perpetually dark, northern side of the home.  This is achieved through carefull placement of windows, skylights, and a perforated metal stair to create an outdoor, urbane, living room on the roof of the home.

Old City Residence

Client: Private Homeowner.


This loft conversion within a historic book publishing warehouse sought to upgrade a worn apartment into a modern loft that responded to the client's childhood aspirations. Looking through a series of journals kept by the client as a child, we uncovered an early desire from this life-long city dweller to grow up to live in a place where he could "see the stars." This, along with a limited amount of natural light within the unit, inspired the insertion of a number of skylights and view corridors within the unit. When confronted with the confilcting desires for a new roof terrace and the need to add skylights for access to light, we developed a solution that inserted double skylights in both the roof and the terrace above. The skylight on the terrace is clad with 2" thick plexiglass allowing a walking surface over this view. The skylights were placed in such a way that allowed a view to the heavens from the pillow on the bed below, answering the call from the 14 year old journal entry on a nightly basis.


Fishtown Residence #2

Client: Private Homeowner

An entrance in any home needs to welcome all.  Often in an urban setting, every inch of space is valuable and nothing can be wasted.  As a result, an entry vestibule can't always function as simply that.

Taking inspiration from exposed wood lath, the existing wall is clad in reclaimed wood boards.  The gaps allow for antique knobs to be inserted as coat hooks, so that even when there are no coats on the wall, the knobs are still a unique decorative element.  The knobs are easily removable so that the wall has a limitless possible of combinations for you to hang your coats.

Lastly, in this homage to a deconstructed environment, nothing else would do but a simple exposed light bulb.


Cyber Village Senior Housing

Client: Mount Tabor CEED.

By BWA Architecture + Planning with support by Brian Szymanik. 

Cyber Village Senior Housing is a green-roofed, high-tech, senior rental residence located in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Mt. Tabor CEED conceived of an apartment building for seniors as part of a larger vision of neighborhood revitalization. Cyber Village provides seniors with high-quality, affordable housing while encouraging resident interaction and connection to the community through the use of technology and the internet.

The four-story building features 56 units of rental housing, including 15 accessible units for tenants with disabilities and five for those with hearing or vision impairments. Amenities include a Cyber Cafe, lounges on each floor, a physical fitness center, gardens, a patio, and a multi-purpose / events space, all to promote the building of community within the building.  

Connelly House

Client: Project HOME, The Bethesda Project, and The Archdiocese of Philadelphia

By BWA Architecture + Planning with support by Brian Szymanik. 

Connelly House is an innovative joint venture between two Philadelphia non-profit organizations dedicated to serving the needs of the homeless and low / moderate-income residents. This multi-use building will provide supportive housing in the form of 79 units of affordable and permanent housing for formerly homeless adults with special needs, facilities for their respective programs, and a Parish Center for an adjacent Church.

In designing the Connelly House, it was critical for the project team to understand the powerful story behind this project and how it will positively affect the City of Philadelphia as well as the quality of life for its future residents. The project team was charged with exceeding the needs of a conventional apartment building and designing a permanent residence for at-risk adults, many of whom previously have had no real place to call home. The Connelly House will provide a space for residents to focus and continue to develop their lives in a way that fosters better care, continuing education, and realization of employment goals.


© 2013