Project DescriptionThis project is a winner in the 2017 AIA Housing Awards in the Multifamily Housing category.
FROM THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS
Powerhouse carefully fits a dense cluster of 31 units into an urban block in Philadelphia’s Francisville neighborhood. The design navigates existing fabric along a sloping site with a series of building typologies including single family townhomes, duplexes, and two small apartment buildings. A wide variety of unit types provide diversity of living options in keeping with the character of the surrounding community, and at a range of prices to meet the needs and budgets of residents. Expanding on the Philadelphia tradition of entry stoops acting as mediators between public sidewalks and private residences, a sequence of generous entry platforms navigate grade changes, entry stairs, and basement windows, with fabricated handrails designed by a local artist. Stormwater is completely managed onsite with green roofs and rain gardens along the curb line. The buildings are super energy efficient, with all 31 units achieving LEED Platinum certification.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS
Francisville is a rapidly gentrifying edge between an expanding Center City core and outlying Philadelphia neighborhoods. Development here has the opportunity to provide variety and diversity in keeping with the character of the community around it. Powerhouse carefully fits a dense cluster of 31 units into the urban fabric, navigating existing buildings on a sloping site by varying typologies and scales across the block. Single family townhomes, duplexes, and two small apartment buildings provide a wide variety of living options at a range of prices to meet the needs and budgets of residents. The site strategy allows infill to grow to blockfill. Three existing rowhouses were integrated into the streetwall, inspiring an in-and-out jog along the sidewalk that looks to camouflage the old and new into a single zone. The stoop is a traditional Philadelphia condition that acts as a mediator between the public sidewalk and the private residence. This project expands on this idea with a “super stoop” – a sequence of generous entry platforms navigating grade changes, entry stairs, and basement windows, and featuring fabricated metal handrail panels designed by a local artist. Powerhouse is deeply green as architecture and as an urban block. Stormwater is completely managed by way of green roofs and rain gardens along the curb line, taking in water from the street surface. The buildings themselves are super energy-efficient with all 31 units achieving LEED Platinum certification.