Launch Slideshow

The architects also added bedrooms and living rooms to the two upstairs studio apartments.

Locust Street Addition, Philadelphia

Locust Street Addition, Philadelphia

  • The narrow addition bridges a historic 19th-century row house and a community garden located in the heart of Philadelphias Washington Square West neighborhood.

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    The narrow addition bridges a historic 19th-century row house and a community garden located in the heart of Philadelphias Washington Square West neighborhood.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The narrow addition bridges a historic 19th-century row house and a community garden located in the heart of Philadelphia's Washington Square West neighborhood.

  • The architects also added bedrooms and living rooms to the two upstairs studio apartments.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpDEBE%2Etmp_tcm48-749439.jpg

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    The architects also added bedrooms and living rooms to the two upstairs studio apartments.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The architects also added bedrooms and living rooms to the two upstairs studio apartments.

  • Working with less than 10 feet, the architects inserted an open-plan seating area on the ground floor adjacent to the existing cafe.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpDEC0%2Etmp_tcm48-749441.jpg

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    Working with less than 10 feet, the architects inserted an open-plan seating area on the ground floor adjacent to the existing cafe.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    Working with less than 10 feet, the architects inserted an open-plan seating area on the ground floor adjacent to the existing cafe.

  • The composition of the Cor-Ten steel panel facade recalls the openings in the original masonry structure.

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    The composition of the Cor-Ten steel panel facade recalls the openings in the original masonry structure.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The composition of the Cor-Ten steel panel facade recalls the openings in the original masonry structure.

  • The buildings exterior is highlighted by glazed metallic brick and Cor-Ten steel panels with ginkgo leaf cutouts adapted from a traditional Japanese paper carving.

    http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/tmpDEC2%2Etmp_tcm48-749443.jpg

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    The buildings exterior is highlighted by glazed metallic brick and Cor-Ten steel panels with ginkgo leaf cutouts adapted from a traditional Japanese paper carving.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The buildings exterior is highlighted by glazed metallic brick and Cor-Ten steel panels with ginkgo leaf cutouts adapted from a traditional Japanese paper carving.

  • The basement and first-floor plans.

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    The basement and first-floor plans.

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    Courtesy Rasmussen/Su

    The basement and first-floor plans.

  • The second- and third-floor plans.

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    The second- and third-floor plans.

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    Courtesy Rasmussen/Su

    The second- and third-floor plans.

rasmussen / su
philadelphia

The judges were so smitten with the skillful insertion of this small commercial addition that they gave it one of the few Grand awards this year. “I think the idea that you [could] build a sliver of a building and make it work is cool,” one judge said.

A “sliver” is an appropriate description, for the architects had only a 9½-foot site between the existing building and a community garden. On this space, the client had plans for a less ambitious one-level atrium adjoining an existing cafe, “but then it evolved into a three-story project,” says architect Kevin C. Rasmussen, AIA, LEED AP.

Rasmussen and his partner, Vivian M. Su, LEED AP, resolved the problem by designing a simple volume with an open seating area on the ground floor, and they added two more levels above that expand studio apartments into one-bedroom units.

The addition cuts a very modern figure in its historic district neighborhood, but it fits in because of its scale and use of materials. “Getting approval is a big part of the backstory,” Rasmussen recalls, adding that it was “the most complicated part of the project.”

To satisfy the neighborhood association and the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the duo used laser-cut Cor-Ten steel on the façade and specified a silver-black brick for the side and rear elevations. “The idea was that the materials would relate to each other and to the old building but still differentiate themselves,” Rasmussen explains.

“Great,” one judge called the result. “It feels like you slid this thing out, like a drawer.”


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product details

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