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Northern Children


Northern Children (formerly Northern Home for Children) is located on a six-acre wooded campus in the Roxborough neighborhood of Philadelphia. The private, nonprofit agency has provided a range of services to at-risk youth for over 150 years. The organization saw a need to create a residential program on campus to serve young, formerly unhoused women with children. To support these goals, Northern Children commissioned CBP Architects for two projects, marking the first campus construction in over 75 years. The architecture fosters community and nourishes families at a difficult time in their lives.

The Caroline Alexander Buck Residence Hall is a three-story, 11,800-sf addition to house the Generations I program serving young mothers and children in a dormitory-like setting. Set into a sloping site, the addition’s lowest story became the new entry point for the complex. It contains administrative functions and a private family room. The upper two floors connect to the existing building and house four mothers and their children per floor. Each floor has its own living room, computer niche, private bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen, and dining room, encouraging small-scale family living. An enclosed outdoor gathering area is available for campus use. The addition echoes the existing building, with fenestration rhythms and suggestions of scale, shape, and geometry incorporated into the design. Brick, cast stone, and several shades of stucco create a palette that complements existing campus materials.

The 10,500-sf Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Residence Hall houses Generations II, a transitional housing program serving eight mothers and their children in four shared suites. Each suite contains a great room, kitchen, bath, and four bedrooms. An on-site daycare center allows mothers the freedom to pursue work and education. The project involved adaptive reuse of a historic 1930s Wissahickon schist building, incorporating clean, simple spaces with large windows and colorful furnishings donated through a partnership with IKEA.

  • Project Category

    Institutional, Civic & Commercial

  • Client

    Northern Children

  • Location

    Philadelphia, PA

  • Number of Units

    8 beds & 4 suites

  • Number of Stories


  • Gross Floor Area

    22,300 sf

  • Program

    Transitional Housing, Supportive Services & Daycare