Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Brian Philips and the team at Interface Studio Architects placed this new house of 1,250 SF in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood on a 12’ by 29’ lot organizing it like a full-scale skyscraper.
Unlocking the development potential of the area’s tiny sites is critical as the city looks to increase its supply of low-cost housing for a diverse range of lifestyles.
The expanded section maximizes height under the zoning code with six levels of usable space.
The design promotes vertical living, occupying the entire site within required setbacks, although it measures only 38’ in height.
The house is linked by a strong core of vertical circulation; each level is free to define life, work, and play in multiple configurations.
The biggest challenge in a vertical house with a tiny footprint is the stair configuration.
A folded plate metal stair with winder treads pushed up against the front facade of the building creates a dramatic, light-filled circulation stack that affords surprising views inside and out as well as a sense of adventure for the occupants.
The experience of going up and down the stair is integral to the daily life of the building.
Urban dwellers are increasingly willing to trade quantity of space for quality.
Ultimately, living in a small unit in a vibrant, walkable neighborhood is more desirable and sustainable than a larger home in a far-flung location.
The Tiny Tower demonstrates how small in scale can feel large in amenity and experience.
Project: Tiny Tower
Architects: Interface Studio Architects LLC.
Engineers: Larsen & Landis Structural Engineers and J+M Engineering
General Contractor: Callahan Ward Companies
Photographers: Sam Oberter