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AMERICAN LOFT BUILDING
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Northern Liberties is an upcoming trendy neighborhood, with small-scale housing, ateliers, and restaurants, and a mix of interesting cultures and people. Our client realized the fact that what we build now is not merely a building, but a creation, a creation that will be one of the most significant investments, for many people, of their lives. The building will also have a lasting impact on the neighborhood: this is even truer for Northern Liberties as it develops its own cultural urban impact for Philadelphia.

The American Loft building is one of a kind; it will feature a green sloping parking lot, which will slide under the building to reveal the equally sloping bottom of the building. The parking lot will be covered with ‘grass-crete’, a surface which enables drainage and creates a natural green surface, with trees and a green wall at the end of the parking.

The building is conceived as something between an Urban Villa and a Tower. It has 40 apartments [including 2 townhouses and 2 Penthouses], a 3000sf Gym, 1300sf of retail and parking for 35 cars under the building. It was crucial for it to be kept to an intimate scale, to match the scale of the neighborhood, as well as to avoid the monotonous repetition usual of bigger buildings. The forty generous lofts have an open layout with generous terraces and are finished with modern European appliances and finishes.

The building is a poured-in-place concrete structure which benefits from all the qualities concrete buildings have, a sloping ground floor, large cantilevers at the penthouses and free hanging balconies. Its pre-fabricated insulated aluminum façade elements were installed immediately after the pour was done and it only took 3 weeks to enclose the whole building! Where the sloping part of the building folds up to become façade, the panels are curved to facilitate a smooth transition. The insulated aluminum windows fit seamlessly within the façade patterns, creating a supple rhythm.

Credits

Year: Completed 2008
Location: Northern Liberties, PA
Client: CREI, LLC
Project Type: 11 Story Residential Tower, 40 units with sloping semi-underground parking and underground cellar. Including two 2-story townhouses and two large penthouses
Size: 61,000 sq ft
Design Team: Principal in charge: Winka Dubbeldam, Assoc. AIA | Project Leader: Bittor Sanchez-Monasterio | Archi-Tectonics Team: Patrick Wong, Pilar Echezarreta, Monty Forman, Tina Tung, Brian Holland
Consultants: Structural Engineers: WSP Cantor Seinuk Engineers, PC | Mechanical Engineers: BHG Consulting, Inc.
Photography: Archi-Tectonics
Architect of Record: Zimmers Associates SL
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