Society Hill Towers Residence

The Society Hill Towers was a project executed by I.M. Pei and Associates in 1964. The tower residences were designed as affordable rental units. Originally 624 units, with about 700sf each, were designed in three towers. Many of those have been combined to form larger condominiums. This project included the consolidation of three of the original units to form a two bedroom apartment including the normal domestic spaces and office spaces required by the two academics who live here. The simple modernist detailing used by Pei was retained and reused to produce clean, linear spaces which are animated by the objects in the rooms and the remarkable views.

Given the relatively small footprint of 2,200sf the owners wanted to ensure that they could work undisturbed in their offices and requested acoustic isolation in their work spaces. Those wall assemblies were carefully designed and detailed to isolate the selected spaces from the apartment and from neighboring units. In this case, we built on our previous experience in school design to successfully provide effective treatments.

The color palette was kept simple to allow the owner’s collections to show as in a gallery. Strongly colored paintings, fabrics and objects were placed in optimal locations to focus and organize the spaces. Lighting was designed to show objects and the light fixtures used were carefully selected for minimal size, energy efficiency and function.  The rich wood floors provide a contrasting building material and stable ground for the area carpets on the finished floors.

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