Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Project Description

"Affordable Infill Housing Design Challenge: Green Construction Strategies for APM"

Interface participated in "Philadelphia's Design Challenge: Affordable Infill Housing"in 2005. This program was put together by the the Community Design Collaborative of AIA Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Neighborhood Development Collaborative. The initiative hoped to spur good design solutions for infill sites in Philadelphia.

Interface was one of three firms that volunteered for a project. Interface was paired with the Asociacion de Asociaci│n Puertorrique▒os en Marcha (APM), a community development organization with a track record of successfully developing affordable housing in North Philadelphia. Interface's final solution was modern and creative, and APM's first sustainable affordable housing project. It sustainability in the broadest sense, considering how the project might support the long-term environmental, economic and social health of the neighborhood . This strategy included supporting urban linkages between the neighborhood and Temple University, working to integrate the adjacent blocks with the new project, and to develop a technical approach to green architecture.

The design of the housing was a prototypical box based loosely on the dimensions of a typical Philadelphia rowhouse (approximately 17'x34'). The module would emphasize daylight, flexibility, and be regular enough to make pre-fabrication an option for construction. The homes would be semi-detached with L-shaped configurations.

The buildings themselves have service and circulation cores in the center with living and sleeping spaces flanking either side. Variety is generated by swapping sleeping and living uses, providing two-story loft spaces, and converting upper bedrooms to terraces as desired. The idea is that the overall building footprint and utility locations are not impacted by these moves. A palette of environmentally friendly materials are deployed on each faºade relative to their solar exposures and interior programs creating a rich architectural texture.