Mid-Century Modern
Philadelphia, PA

Project Information
  • Completion: Winter, 2013
  • Architecture: Kass & Associates
  • Interior Design: Joanne Balaban Designs
  • Landscape Design: ThinkGreen LLC
  • General Contractor: Shay Construction, Inc.
  • Structural Engineer: Bevan Lawson
  • Photography: Randl Bye Photography

Mid-Century Modern, Philadelphia, PA

This project included the complete refurbishment and expansion of a mid-century modern courtyard house in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. Designed in 1951 by architects Carroll Grisdale & Van Alen, the home is one of a small colony of progressive home designs that lined the hills of the Wissahickon Valley in the 1950’s.

The modest, one story house had been built to optimize efficiency. It included earth-toned cinder block walls punctuated by large expanses of windows and exposed wood beams spanned with T & G wood decking. The house was organized around an entrance vestibule and central courtyard, with public rooms lining one wing and bedrooms another.

Our addition is inserted into the courtyard and serves as the Owner’s library and studio. Leaving existing windows in place, the new space provides views through the house to the exterior. A second addition extends the renovated kitchen to create a new breakfast room and provides a family entry and storage space. The Master Suite was enlarged by combining one of the adjacent 10’ x 10’ bedrooms with the existing master bath.

The original character of the house prompted simple details as well as attention to sustainable materials and energy efficient systems. The existing single glazed windows were replaced with insulated glass units. A geothermal system was put in place for heating and air-conditioning. Existing concrete floors were refinished and polished. New stained concrete floors blend with original floors in the additions & renovated areas. Several rain gardens were created throughout the property to mitigate water run-off and help merge the house with the natural landscape.