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Designing Homes for the In-between Spaces
Jake Blumgart details the work of the architecture firm ISA, which designs "a new generation of uniquely Philadelphian homes […] as architects confront a dwindling supply of available land in growing neighborhoods and seek ways to squeeze housing into what architect Brian Phillips, founding principal of the firm ISA, calls the 'leftover lots' — the alleys, the side yards, and yes, the courtyards."
ISA is behind an exhibition that debuted yesterday to celebrate rowhouses, which Blumgart calls "the city’s most ubiquitous housing typology." In May, ISA won a 2019 AIA Housing Award for the Tiny Tower, a "slender new take on the "old old Philly row."
"ISA’s tower stands on a narrow back street of Brewerytown, a North Philadelphia neighborhood that’s experienced extensive reinvestment in recent years. Rowhomes line the west end of the block, but vacant lots surround the ISA lot, on the southeastern portion of the block. The roadway is so tight that cars must ease down it, creating a nice quiet block sheltered from bustling Girard Avenue to the immediate north."