C2 Architecture

Wissahickon Park Residence

Wissahickon Park Residence is a result of many factors and influences. The site is uniquely located right on the edge of the Wissahickon Valley Park, an 1800 acre park in North West Philadelphia.

In 2013, a retired Philadelphia couple bought the lot and tore down a dilapidated existing house to make room for their dream house. The clients, a former corporate lawyer and an internationally successful fiber sculptor had very specific visions and ideas for their new house. One of them being a modern contrast in the woodsy landscape. It was clear that the incredible views would be the focus of the design.

The heart of the 2800 square-foot house is the great room with a 26 foot high wall of glazing facing the woods. This main gathering space includes the living and dining room as well as the open kitchen and loft above. It serves as a connector to the two flanking volumes housing the private spaces: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and an artist studio. The external form of the house is also broken up according to internal functions allowing the rather large volume to present itself in a smaller scale. The uplifting butterfly roof line defines the public spaces and opens the building to the outside, engaging the surrounding area. Conversely, a salt-box roofline directs the focus inward for the private areas.

The exterior is clad in corrugated metal; a dark grey finish oriented vertically at the center volume is complemented by a light grey finish oriented horizontally at the flanking volumes. The difference in the metal emphasizes the form and the division in functionality while keeping the overall building coherent. The industrial feel lets the contemporary house stand out from the natural surrounding, while forming a strong bond with it as opposites that attract. The vibrant red window color provides accents and balances the monochromatic grey fa├žade.

This project was designed and built within a year.

Portfolio Details

LOCATION : Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, PA

DATE : 2014

TYPE : Residential