The Big Idea
A modern, light-filled space juxtaposed with Philly’s old school structures.
When we were approached by Post Brothers to design the Hamilton Court Amenity Building, they had a vision.
What if we built a glass box in the courtyard of an historic building complex with a ground floor retail space, fitness center, pool, and outdoor rec area on the second floor?
We absolutely loved their vision. The challenge? Constructing a new, state-of-the-art space filled with modern amenities, while also preserving and complementing the Venetian Gothic style of the original residential building.
Through a rigorous, yet fruitful, development process, we were able to transform their initial glass box concept into a uniquely transparent design that offers multiple areas of convenience and support for the residents, tenants, and even the neighbors of Hamilton Court.
They asked us for a glass box. We came back with a glass box shrouded in a sculptural metal and steel veil. Though it wasn’t what they were expecting, they loved it and asked us not to change a thing.
Design & Construction
Our design zeroed in on every detail to make sure the space would not only remain unique for years to come, but also enhance the courtyard as opposed to crowding it.
The ground floor of the building is dedicated to its retail space and specifically designed for maximum rentable floor area.
The second-floor gym features top-of-the-line cardio and strength training machines, a fully equipped weight section, a separate yoga room, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
The 2,000-square-foot rooftop terrace features a lounge pool, a sundeck with chaise and lounge seating, an oversized hot tub, fire pits, a grilling area, dining tables, outdoor gaming area, and landscaped greenery that spans the roof itself.
The building itself is a mixture of curtain wall and brick, with a perforated aluminum skin wrapped around the exterior. The size and arrangement of the skin’s perforated openings were carefully selected to allow enough light in and maintain views to the outside, while also providing adequate sun shading—dramatically reducing the energy load on the all glass building. The skin was also designed to protrude beyond the property line in order for Hamilton Court to stand out—a must for our clients in attracting future University City tenants.
The final product achieved what we were going for—an eye catching structure that feels sleek yet inviting.
Through the interplay of light, shadow, glass and steel, we were able to create a dynamic space that offers transparency, privacy, and a modern design language that fosters engagement with Hamilton Court residents and neighbors.
With the addition of the Amenity Building, Hamilton Courts Apartments has since emerged as the neighborhood’s residence of choice, combining bold design and contemporary features rarely seen in buildings geared toward students.
Winner of the 2020 AIA Philadelphia Honor Award for Built Architecture and the 2016 AIA Philadelphia Merit Award for Unbuilt Architecture.