Courtesy ISA

Hive 50 Honors

For mining untapped potential in infill properties not often recognized as building sites, using precision vertical construction and design.

What You Need To Know

Philadelphia-based Interface Studio Architects’ Tiny Tower is a 1,250-square-foot structure that rises from a minuscule 12-foot-by-29-foot site in the Philly neighborhood Brewerytown. It sits on a narrow thoroughfare where its neighbors are garages and off-street parking pads. Inspired by Japan’s kyosho jutaku microhomes, Tiny Tower navigates both local zoning codes and historic neighborhood “trinity house” alley structures. Its biggest programmatic challenge, how to locate stairways, became a strong point. Placing stairs at the front of the five-story, 38-foot-high structure freed up space and offered a naturally lit gallery-effect view of the street.

Who’s Involved

Client/Owner: Callahan Ward; Architect: Interface Studio Architects—Brian Phillips, AIA, Deb Katz, AIA, Alex Gauzza, AIA, Matt Underwood; Structural Engineer: Larsen & Landis Structural Engineers; M/E/P Engineers: J+M Engineering; Stair Fabricator: En-Motion Design

Time Stamp

In 2016, Callahan Ward commissioned ISA to design the project, which was completed in 2018, and won an AIA Housing Award in 2019.