Launch Slideshow

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The Spreter Studio

The Spreter Studio

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    Jeffrey Totaro

  • The foyer of the studio, now used as a private art gallery.

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    The foyer of the studio, now used as a private art gallery.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The foyer of the studio, now used as a private art gallery.

  • Studio elevation before the renovation.

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    Studio elevation before the renovation.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    Studio elevation before the renovation.

  • The bridge is tapered to tuck behind the reconstructed stone parapet on the south elevation.

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    The bridge is tapered to tuck behind the reconstructed stone parapet on the south elevation.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The bridge is tapered to tuck behind the reconstructed stone parapet on the south elevation.

  • Guests are often treated to cocktails and music at the studio.

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    Guests are often treated to cocktails and music at the studio.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    Guests are often treated to cocktails and music at the studio.

  • Restoration involved welding new columns around the originals and reinforcing the water-damaged chicken-wire floor deck with steel.

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    Restoration involved welding new columns around the originals and reinforcing the water-damaged chicken-wire floor deck with steel.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    Restoration involved welding new columns around the originals and reinforcing the water-damaged chicken-wire floor deck with steel.

  • The sculptural stairway after.

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    The sculptural stairway after.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The sculptural stairway after.

  • The sculptural stairway before.

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    The sculptural stairway before.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The sculptural stairway before.

  • The studio after the additions were demolished. The original studio was oriented to maximize northern light and capitalize on views of Mill Creek, while the garage was oriented toward an existing barn. This interplay of orientations gave the studio its unique geometry.

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    The studio after the additions were demolished. The original studio was oriented to maximize northern light and capitalize on views of Mill Creek, while the garage was oriented toward an existing barn. This interplay of orientations gave the studio its unique geometry.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The studio after the additions were demolished. The original studio was oriented to maximize northern light and capitalize on views of Mill Creek, while the garage was oriented toward an existing barn. This interplay of orientations gave the studio its unique geometry.

  • With its mid-20th-century appendages removed, the studios setting and massing are exposed.

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    With its mid-20th-century appendages removed, the studios setting and massing are exposed.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    With its mid-20th-century appendages removed, the studios setting and massing are exposed.

  • The new bridge and restored studio, viewed from the house.

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    The new bridge and restored studio, viewed from the house.

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    Jeffrey Totaro

    The new bridge and restored studio, viewed from the house.

  • The finished site plan.

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    The finished site plan.

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    Courtesy Martin Jay Rosenblum

    The finished site plan.

  • Studio and house floor plans.

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    Studio and house floor plans.

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    Courtesy Martin Jay Rosenblum

    Studio and house floor plans.

martin jay rosenblum, aia & associates, philadelphia

Designed in 1934 by architect William Lescaze, who is known for his work on the International Style Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building in Philadelphia, this fragile studio was slated for demolition until a sympathetic patron came to its rescue. Martin Jay Rosenblum, AIA, painstakingly stabilized and restored the structure—over the years it had suffered ungainly additions and substantial water damage—and designed an adjoining house that keeps the iconic building front and center. “Our concept was to expose the entire studio 360 degrees, as it was meant to be seen,” Rosenblum says. “The house would be the bleachers from which to view the studio.”

The new house hugs the side of a hill, skinny side to the road in deference to the studio. A slender bridge connects the two, tucked behind the studio’s reconstructed fieldstone parapet.

Our judges appreciated the meticulous work on both buildings, calling the studio “a great artifact, skillfully done.”


Project Credits
principal in charge / project architect: Martin J. Rosenblum, AIA, Martin Jay Rosenblum, AIA & Associates, www.mjra-architects.com
general contractor: Robert Vermillion, Robert Vermillion Builders, Downingtown, Pa.
structural engineer: Leonid Chachkes, Cooke/Chachkes Associates, Ambler, Pa.
landscape architect: Peter R. Fernandez, RLA, ASLA, Carter van Dyke Associates, Doylestown, Pa.
pool designer: Branch McQueen, Pebble Pools, Royersford, Pa.
project size: 6,500 square feet
site size: 3.75 acres
construction cost: $577 per square foot
photography: Jeffrey Totaro

Product Details
bathroom cabinets: Robern www.robern.com; bathroom fittings: Dornbracht Americas www.dornbracht.com, GROHE America www.groheamerica.com; doors, windows: Hope's Windows www.hopeswindows.com; flooring (ceramic tile/stone/concrete): Stone Source www.stonetechonline.com; garage doors: Clopay Building Products Co. www.clopay.com; garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator www.insinkerator.com; hardware: Omnia Industries www.omniaindustries.com; hvac equipment: Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems www.bryant.com; kitchencabinets, kitchen fittings and fixtures: Restaurant Max Inc. www.restaurant-services.com; lighting fixtures: BEGA/US www.bega-us.com, Holtkötter International www.holtkoetter.com, Juno Lighting www.junolighting.com, LBL Lighting www.lbllighting.com, MP Lighting www.mplighting.com; oven/range: Wolf Appliance www.wolfappliance.com; paints/stains/wall finishes: M.A.B. Paints www.mabpaints.com; refrigerator: Sub-Zero www.subzero.com; skylights/roof windows: VELUX-America www.velux.com

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