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Urban Oasis

Moto was challenged to create an open courtyard space within a four-story row home in the densely populated Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. The project required the reconfiguration of the standard rowhouse typology to allow light into this internal courtyard of private outdoor space. By carving out an external space in the middle of the home, more natural light was able to penetrate through the interiors. The request for this internal court came after the home was in construction and therefore required Moto to respond to an evolving project. The adjusted design and engineering included the reinforcement of the initial structure to support a 25-foot tall by 11-foot wide insulated, curved glass wall.

 
 
 
 
“This attention to sky, air and light provides opportunities for internal reflection - and everywhere I find peace and serenity.”

- Homeowner
 
To provide maximum light, minimum shadow, and the greatest possibly impression of being outdoors – while inside - we set a goal to avoid vertical mullions. Likewise, the indoor/outdoor experience would be strongest with the glass curving along the vertical surface – typically when glass is curved, it is along the horizontal axis to avoid stresses on the material. This design goal added to the complexity of the technical challenge. For a technical breakdown of how we achived this, head over to our case studies in craft section.
 
 
To achieve the desired effect, Moto designed a custom frame that was produced through direct digital fabrication with the glass manufacturers. Given that the home was already under construction, the custom piece had to be designed to fit within the predesigned opening, all the while making adjustments to both the existing opening and the new design to find success.
 
Following design and fabrication, Moto oversaw the installation of the custom piece and ultimately succeeded in creating a series of interior/exterior spaces that feel seamlessly connected within this urban oasis.
 
“In the rain and snow - these spaces are simply beautiful and connect me to what is happening in the natural world. ”

- Homeowner