Ask anyone who has completed a new residence or home renovation in a large city what was most challenging to accomplish and they’ll likely quip – EVERYTHING! We have designed or re-designed a multitude of city dwellings in a wide range of styles and, in just about every configuration: adding stories atop structures; combining two homes into one; side & rear additions; inserting floors to existing homes; full gut-renovations; and careful renovations or restorations to historically listed properties. We’re also savvy with complicated apartment renovations in hi-rise buildings when, the only way to “get there" is by elevator. Because we practice in the city, we completely understand how to get your project built smartly after the planning, design and bidding stages.
Key aspects of the renovation focused on creating vastly improved floor plans, a new kitchen and bathrooms, introducing a new four-stop elevator, painstakingly preserving elaborate interior details, and restoring the soaring, domed stair hall. New structure was designed to strengthen the original foundation which enabled the basement floor to be lowered by two feet. With comfortable new ceiling heights, the basement was transformed with fine interior details and now offers a large media room, gym with changing room, and wine cellar.
We designed complete renovation and restoration plans for this intricately detailed, 6,000 square-foot, Second Empire mansion, in Philadelphia's historic Rittenhouse Square District. Originally designed by the Hewitt brothers (protégés of Frank Furness) around 1874, but converted into five apartments in the 1960's, our plans return this handsome structure back into a magnificent single-family home.
Working closely with the Philadelphia Historical Commission, we completed details for a thorough facade restoration, historically-accurate enhancements to the exterior, and the redesign of an existing, freestanding 3-car garage.
We provided complete architectural, engineering and interior design services for this complex addition and renovation project located in Philadelphia's Society Hill district. Our design concept required that 75% of the original two-story structure be demolished to make way for an expanded, new three-story home. The resulting floor plans feature a secluded urban courtyard with swimming pool and terrace. The house is designed to comfortably balance its function as a center for museum-related, social events while never losing its identity as a highly personalized residence for the President and his family. Careful attention was given to create beautifully detailed, "soft contemporary" interiors that graciously showcase our client's handsome furnishings and extensive art collection.
Fitler Square Additions
This unique opportunity in Fitler Square let us fuse two contrasting rowhouses into one unified home. Although simple in concept, the design and construction detailing presented numerous complexities and technical challenges.
With a plan to selectively demolish 80% of one house, we worked closely with the City’s Historical Commission to develop new facades for it that would satisfy preservation-minded concerns while also realizing a creatively bold front to complement the traditional façade of the second house. The made-over home’s well-crafted brick front does not immediately draw attention, but at a closer view, its fine brick details and grand scaled windows deliver a playful balance between boldness and subtlety.
We worked intently with the Owners to identify and develop their many objectives. Unscrambling the puzzle between: zoning codes, building permits, neighboring properties, Historical Commission reviews, Streets Department guidelines, procuring construction services, and a host of other concerns were all satisfied and balanced before finalizing a design which satisfied our Client’s call.
Knit tightly into a historic city block, this project combined two, back-to-back townhouses that were linked together with a new addition, to create an eclectic but unified 4,500 square foot home. The resulting 3-part plan extends nearly 100 feet and is a full city block deep, with facades fronting on two separate streets. This spirited design contrasts the contemporary details in our new, clerestory-topped addition with the traditional, interior features existing in both of the original homes. Our expanded plan includes an intimate courtyard that acts as the central, organizing element in the new, “stretched” layout. The courtyard facades are loaded with windows to provide generous amounts of daylight inside, while also offering dramatic views to the city skyline beyond.
Apartment for Art Collectors
This total interior renovation was designed to combine two apartments in a high-rise building overlooking Philadelphia's Art Museum into one spacious home with accommodations to display our Client's substantial art glass collection. All spaces received entirely new surfaces and finishes. While never in conflict with the apartment's primary function as a residence, careful planning led to a versatile design that offers numerous options to showcase our clients' constantly evolving collection. Recessed, built-in cabinetry with adjustable lighting and cantilevered, illuminated shelves provide adaptable conditions to best display the glass pieces and paintings as they are set in balance with this minimally detailed, modern interior.