The Client's mission was to create a pied-a-terre in Philadelphia for collecting and displaying contemporary glass crafts. Their stated desire was to cast an urban home that was, in itself, a gallery. While they enjoy a very vital family life, this home is focused to their urban activities – charitable and corporate outreach being central elements. The design process ultimately led to the Clients acquiring three penthouse units in a recently complete high rise, the total demolition of each, and construction of an entirely new 8,500 square feet home with extensive terraces and sweeping views of the city in all directions.
The living areas are open and flow into each other, with discrete pockets of secondary functions. At large social events, guests feel free to access all areas of the penthouse. The program includes a dedicated gallery for thematic art exhibitions. In addition, the Clients invited the architect to collaborate with a number of artisans to incorporate and guide their art, be it built-in or stand-alone, into the architectural experience.
The penthouse was also designed around the theatrical possibilities of food preparation. A "show" kitchen is pivotal, and open, to the main living spaces. Secondary kitchens and a wine display/bar become additional focused moments.
The architects crafted a distinctive residence that is framed around the gallery experience, while also choreographing softer residential moments. In alliance with the Owners, Cecil Baker + Partners embraced every aspect of the new penthouse design, from materials selection, to furniture selection, to art placement.DOWNLOAD PROJECT SHEET