The Modules, Philadelphia
Interface Studio Architects

In designing Temple University student housing for a private developer, Interface Studio found the sweet spot between one-off design and the strengths of modular protocol. “We saw modular construction as a way of navigating the cost structure and making the building greener,” says Brian Phillips, AIA, LEED AP. Stacking the boxes in back-to-back “E” shapes yielded the most square footage and natural light on the perimeter. The building—which achieved LEED for Homes Midrise Gold certification—incorporates ground-floor parking for 38 cars and 100 bicycles and a green roof terrace, part of a stormwater system that reduces runoff by 50 percent. The factory-built model was speedy, too: Construction began in January and students were in by August. “It’s sustainable, and it’s where construction is heading,” one judge said.

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Project Credits

Principal in charge: Brian Phillips, AIA, LEED AP, Interface Studio Architects
General contractor: Jonathan Weiss, Equinox Management & Construction, Philadelphia
Developer: Jonathan Weiss, Carlisle Street Partners, Philadelphia
Land planner: John Anderson, Cornerstone Consulting Engineers and Architectural, Lansdale, Pa.
Landscape architect: Roofmeadow, Philadelphia
Project size: 80,000 square feet
Site size: 0.5 acre
Units in project: 72
Sales/rental price: $700/bed, $1,400/2-bedroom unit, $2,100/3-bedroom unit
Construction cost: $130 per square foot
Photography: Sam Oberter

Product Details

Bathroom cabinets: Merillat
Doors: Taylor Entrance Systems; Masonite
Exterior siding: Sil-Leed; Atas
Flooring (carpet): Nood
Flooring (tile): Daltile
Flooring (vinyl): Toli
Garage doors: Overhead Door
Hardware: Schlage
Kitchen cabinets: Merillat
Paints/stains/wall finishes: Sherwin-Williams
Roofing: Mule-Hide TPO; Hanover Architectural Products
Windows: MI Windows and Doors; Kawneer