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exterior façade that creates a reinterpreted unification between the modern and traditional through scale and proportion. The solution was to create voids in the party wall between the properties to connect the homes. Similarly to how the interior spaces move across, through and around the original party wall to tie spaces together, the exterior stretches new material and conditions with railings and built-in planters across the original party separation while still maintaining the rhythm of the row house proportion. DB: In terms of residential design faux pas, can you give me an example of something that is being done in row house design that you’d like to see eliminated? LC: Philadelphia is one of the cities in which the row home matured as a building type, and in the past, row homes were typically built around factories or mills for workers. Now, what’s happening is there is this new inter-

pretation of a row house; it’s a cookie-cutter type scenario where you have a ubiquitous three-story house with a big bay window projecting beyond the face of the brick and usually it’s clad with either metal, or vinyl or stucco. This seems to be a norm in Philadelphia. I think the lack of design specificity ruins neighborhoods and robs them of their essence and identity. DB: How would you define your style? CK: We don’t really have one and that helps us stay fresh. It keeps us from saying, “Well this is how we do it.” We don’t go in with any preconceived ideas, so we are free to explore what the relationships are within the project. You’ll never get a repetitive solution from us. Instead, what we try to do is listen. We listen to everything in order to respond to anything, from physical to intangible parameters. These are the things we pay attention to the most to find a good solution.—Christopher Moraff

Clean lines and stainless steel appliances further the urban modernist design inside The Red House




Architecture: Volume 1  

A Special Edition From Design Bureau 2012