Row House Rehab

Rehabbing six small row houses to create more living space in East Kensington.

Team

Francis Cauffman Foley Hoffmann, Architects
New Kensington CDC

Context

East Kensington was once a hub of manufacturing. While emptying factories have begun to attract new buyers and new uses, the quality of the neighborhood's housing have continued to decline. Solving this problem is a key to the East Kensington's transition to a healthy residential community.

Site

Six vacant row houses on the 2000 block of Hazzard Street targeted for redevelopment. The block is close to Coral Street Arts House, a former textile mill recently converted into affordable, artist live-work units.

Challenge

To find ways to create larger units that offer at least 1,100 square-feet of living space and three bedrooms.

Design

The design team considered three different approaches to creating larger units — combining pairs of row houses, demolishing all six units to make way for four new, wider row houses, and adding a third floor of living space to the existing six units.

The third story addition produced the most effective layout — a floor plan with three bedrooms, two baths, a little extra space for a home office or playroom. In East Kensington, where factories intermingle with housing, introducing a third story and a second exterior material fits the texture of the neighborhood.