Our project, Hamilton Court Amenities Building, has won an AIA Philadelphia Merit Award in the Unbuilt Category.
Post Brothers Apartments wanted to build an amenities building for Hamilton Court and requested a glass box with a pool on the roof. In response, we envisioned a different concept and fashioned clay models of an angular, sculptural building. Several design iterations produced multiple, angled planes over a rectangular base. The design team lightened the massing by encasing the form in glass and metal.
The final design is a two-story, 8,500sf building. The ground floor has two, street-facing retail spaces. A 2,500sf gym for tenants is located on the second level, along with an outdoor swimming pool. A sun deck is located on the roof, overlooking the pool. Hamilton Court residents can access the gym and terraces using a staircase or elevator.
The building-streetscape interaction is a critical component of the design. The two retail spaces are enclosed in a glazed curtain wall that wraps around three sides of the building. The curtain wall stretches to the second floor, and a perforated aluminum screen veils this level. To the west, the glass panes are set vertically. To the east, horizontal glass panes are framed by deep horizontal mullions and display views of the courtyard and residential housing. At strategic points, the screen is cut back to allow views of the interior and out to the street. At night, the screen is lit, allowing the interior to glow.
Conventional columns have been removed from the street level. The second floor rests on 4 V-shaped pipe columns, contrasting against the masonry mass of the pool. The screen rests delicately on the roof, tied back on stainless steel struts connected though integral clips to the curtain wall vertical mullions. A shift in the geometry of the screen allows for stairway passage between the glazed curtain wall, screen, and steel structure.