Live-Work Studio

Adaptive Reuse
4,700 SF
Philadelphia, PA: Fishtown

Designed as a ground floor photography studio with living quarters above, this 1800’s structure exemplifies how Philadelphia’s existing building stock can transition in an age of live-work culture. While demolition and reconstruction claimed similar properties throughout the city’s housing boom, the homeowners were adamant on adapting this unique property. The project utilizes Passive House design and detailing to holistically integrate the once drafty and unsafe building shell into a healthy environment for the resident artists and their family. Sustainable strategies include airtight construction, energy recovery ventilation, a roof-top solar array and an urban garden. This project acts as a reminder that even amidst economic prosperity, the city’s unique fabric is worth all efforts to preserve.


Deep Energy Retrofit
Passive House Principles

11.61 EUI

1.97 ACH 50

4 kW Solar Panel Array

Energy Recovery Ventilation
Energy-Star appliances



Builder: Wooden Box

Energy Verifier: DSB Energy 

Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis

Photography: Jaime Alvarez