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Residence at The Rittenhouse


Located on the 30th and 31st floors of The Rittenhouse, overlooking Philadelphia’s historic Rittenhouse Square, this two-story penthouse was acquired by owners seeking an urban pied-a-terre that functions as both home and gallery for their world-class contemporary art collection. The modern backdrop needed to accommodate and showcase large abstract works and also establish a framework for future acquisitions.

CBP Architects began with a full interior demolition. The building’s perimeter zig-saw pattern, with HVAC units located in the knuckles of the zig-saw façade, made it difficult to create fluid contiguous space. A low floor-to-ceiling height further challenged the design. Removing the HVAC and strategically placing a new system within shallow dropped ceilings restored valuable floor space. Exposing the concrete ceilings and columns further maximized interior height; manicuring their rough finishes created a rough-hewn contemporary backdrop. With systems and structure resolved, the main space could flow as an interconnected series of gallery-like moments, sparingly interrupted by a central fireplace and entertainment module. Gaps between the islands became crucibles for large art, seen both individually and obliquely through secondary portals. The abstract kitchen conceals its utilitarian function. Two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms are configured to participate in the public sequence with privacy doors pocketed and disguised. A sculptural new stair presents a luminous architectural moment – it celebrates the relationship between the two levels and honors a sculpture mounted at its center.

  • Project Category

    Private Residence

  • Location

    Philadelphia, PA

  • Number of Stories


  • Gross Floor Area

    4,000 sf

  • Program

    Single-Family Residence