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Residence at the Lippincott


The historic Lippincott Building on Philadelphia’s Washington Square was constructed in 1900 for the J.B. Lippincott Company, a longtime publisher of reference and technical books. When the company abandoned its headquarters, the building sat empty until the residential resurgence in Society Hill prompted adaptive reuse. CBP Architects developed the concept to preserve the building’s distinct architecture while accommodating a new residential program, including a two-story penthouse overbuild. Renamed Locust Walk, the building is 100 percent occupied. Units were sold to buyers as unfinished space for personalization by their own architects.

This private residential project marked one of five units for which CBP Architects was hired to complete a custom interior fit-out. While most CBP Architects-designed unit interiors tended toward a minimalist modern aesthetic, this design embraced the existing steel beams and columns and wood ceilings while inserting a clean, modern intervention. In order to expose the underside of the building’s original 3-inch-thick tongue-and-groove ceiling, the adaptive reuse incorporated a 5-inch-thick acoustic floor assembly of gypcrete and floating hardwood installed throughout the building. As a result, the wood ceilings lend visual warmth to the interior. Custom design features include a den/study separated from the main living space by shelving casework, a guest room with a built-in sleeping alcove, and the use of interior glass clerestories to offer unobstructed views of the ceiling throughout the unit.

  • Project Category

    Private Residence

  • Location

    Philadelphia, PA

  • Number of Stories


  • Gross Floor Area

    2,300 sf

  • Program

    Single-Family Residence