Fairmount Trinity Revival

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Careful renovation, reconstruction, and expansion of a childhood home

Three big ideas:

Bicycle Living,
Decarbonized,
Structural Reuse

When the decades-long owners of this narrow slice of a Fairmount block determined it was time for them to downsize, they didn’t need to look far for a new owner. Their now-adult son, who had grown up in the house, was ready for a new home for his growing family. He gratefully took on a surgical renovation and addition to the aging house, a Philadelphia “trinity” with two rear additions, with three primary goals: creating an energy efficient home, accommodating easy movement of the family’s many bikes off the street and down to the basement for storage and maintenance, and getting daylight down through the center of the house as far as possible. What was once a chopped up multi-level house is now 3 full stories plus a full height usable basement – an almost 200% increase in usable space in the same footprint.

The flooring on the main level of the house is durable large format ceramic tile that leads to a gracious stair to the basement bike workshop.  The four story stair itself has open risers for light to flow through from the skylights at the upper level.  Additionally, a glass floor system on the second and third levels helps light reach 3 stories down to the main level.  The fully-electrified house is a model of achievable energy efficiency with a robust insulation package, high quality windows and doors, air tight detailing, energy efficient electric heat pumps with fresh air ventilation, a solar hot water heating array, and provisions for a future solar panel installation.

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