Mixed-Use Housing Complex

     The concept behind this project was to create a mixed-use housing complex on a site in the Powelton neighborhood of Philadelphia. The structure had many requirements, including a total number of units for layouts sized for single occupants up to families, on-site parking, space for retail, and proper fire code and ADA compliance.

    The design process worked from the inside out, beginning with overall massing then diving into the structure and arrangement of spaces before fleshing out those spaces, which then provided a launching point for the design of the envelope. One of the strategies I employed was to use the occupancy of each room to help provide rhythm to an otherwise chaotic facade. The single occupant rooms were the narrowest so I allowed them to push out further, while the large 4 bedroom units only pushed out the envelope by a foot or two. In this way, I was able to create consistency and use rules rather than arbitrary movement to create the intrigue of the shifting facade.

    Because I was working from the inside out, the next step after the facade was the design of the exterior spaces and finding a way to connect them to both the new building and the neighborhood as a whole. This was where the weeks of neighborhood research became most useful as I was better able to understand how to link the tenants to the wider community of the neighborhood