Delancey Street Townhouse
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Project Information
  • Lighting Consultant: The Lighting Practice
  • Structural Engineer: Bevan E. Lawson, P.E.
  • General Contractor: R. C. Legnini
  • Photography: Halkin Mason Photography

This Victorian Townhouse, built around 1870, had been used for a number of years as an office space and had fallen into disrepair. A previous Owner sold the rear yard to an adjacent property, leaving the house without usable outdoor space except for a narrow areaway.

The new Owners wished to transform the building back into a single residence and desired the existing small rooms to be opened as much as possible and to have a loft-like feel.

To accomplish this, all of the interior partitions were removed and the middle portion of the building was scooped out to create a new open courtyard. This centralized outdoor space focuses views and provides light into all portions of the reconfigured townhouse. A four-story steel stair was inserted into adjacent to the courtyard to link the front and rear rooms split on alternating levels.

The first and second floors include the more public rooms of the house, while the upper two floors have more private bedrooms and studies. The second floor Living Room is reached by a glass and steel bridge that spans across the first floor Breakfast Room. The upper portion of this sequence opens to a roof deck. Two skylights punctuate the steel stair with natural light at two different levels.