Academy House Lobby & Arcade

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Client Academy House Council
Location Philadelphia, PA
Scope 4,000 SF

The Academy House, constructed in 1974, is an iconic Brutalist apartment building known for its unique exterior arcade.

The complex, built behind the Philadelphia Academy of Music, is home to over 550 condominium units above four levels of commercial spaces, retail spaces and Academy of Music support functions.


While the concrete exterior has remained mostly untouched since 1974, the tenant lobby was renovated in the mid-1980s in the Post-modern style. CosciaMoos Architecture was tasked with updating and enlarging the dated lobby as well as enlivening the uninviting arcade. The new design restores the clean lines of the original lobby using contemporary finishes and new LED lighting. A new and larger reception desk was installed to improve the overall flow of people in the space. A new package room (something that was not contemplated in the original design) was carved out of existing space.

All of the lighting was replaced with energy efficient LED fixtures. The exterior arcade renovations included the addition of over twenty hanging lanterns, echoing the form of the adjacent existing sixty-foot-tall concrete columns.