Cecil Baker revels in the "flywheel of energy" in Philadelphia, where he lives and works. His recent 100-unit condo project, the Western Union Building, rises above the narrow residential streets of Washington Square West.
Completed in 2000 for less than $200,000, three infill townhouses on 11th Street rethink traditional residential elements--the Mansard roof, the corbelled party wall, and the block's storefront cornices. A vertical glass reveal skews conventional row hous
A glass box floats above the four-story, 1922 Art-Deco Western Union Building, separated by a shadow line of terraces just above the existing cornice.
A new tower anchors the adjacent street corner. Clad in copper-colored metal panels and black brick, the building dematerializes, helping to maintain the residential character of its neighbors.
At Inglis Gardens at Eastwick (1998), continuous porches encourage socializing among low-income residents with chronic disabilities.
The simple brick base and rhythmic A-frame roofs kept costs down while integrating playfully with neighboring homes.