Span

Residential  /  4,600 sq ft  /  Jenkintown, PA

SPAN

Span was devised for a bifurcated site. It is rooted on one side of a wetland. Establishing a protective margin, the building lifts up, extends out towards the wooded hillside, crosses the wetland, and touches down lightly on the far side.

PROGRAM NEEDS

The new residence was conceived to accommodate a growing family of five. The requirements were significant for the small wooded site: five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a pool house, and a manicured lawn for play.

SITE CONSTRAINTS

The tight site is further limited by a creek on one side and a wetlands running through the center. To accommodate the programmatic needs the building had to twist, turn, and stretch.

SPAN CONCEPT

In order to take full advantage of the site and meet the program requirements the house spans across the wetland. Connecting the house to the pool house and play lawn on the other side.

SITE ANALYSIS

The wooded site is long and narrow, crosscut at the middle by a narrow band of wetland, and at the front by a deep creek. Access is gained by crossing the creek, and the main buildable area is bound between creek and wetlands. The orientation of the sun, and well-lit versus shaded areas, provided further cues for intervention.


A decision was made to maintain the natural landscape at the creek side, while SPAN crosses the wetland to afford access to a more mediated recreation area inserted into a wooded hillside.

BUILDABLE AREA

In addition to the typical front, rear and side yard setbacks, a township requirement established a 50’ setback from the banks of the creek. The Department of Environmental Protection does not require a setback from the wetlands except as needed to maintain them.

STACKED MATERIALS

The concrete establishes a solid plinth where SPAN anchors into the earth. Above the plinth the building is screened by a more fragile burnt cedar. Cantilevering beyond the plinth, the organic texture of the cedar expands out, interrupted by large glass monitors that afford views out to the trees, the land and the water.

CEDAR

SPAN

CONCRETE
PLINTH

CONCRETE

ANCHOR

Basement

1. Living/Guest Room
2. Bathroom
3. Utility Room
4. Terrace

5. Stair Hallway

6. Building Above


GSF = 925 SF

4

4

4

1

5

2

3

6

Ground Floor

1. Carport
2. Garage
3. Powder Room
4. Entry
5. Dining Room
6. Pantry
7. Kitchen
8. Terrace
9. Living Room
10. Laundry Room


GSF = 2,200

8

9

7

5

6

1

2

3

4

10

9

8

2nd Floor

1. Master Bedroom
2. Master Bath
3. Dressing
4. Bedroom
5. Bathroom
6. Hall
7. Terrace

7

1

6

4

2

3

4

4

4

6

7

Roof

1. Roof
2. Drive
3. Terrace
4. Walkway

5. Skylights

6. Entrance

1

6

2

4

3

5

3

1

1

1

Perspective from South

 

 

Tel. 215.564.1202

Email. amckinney@almaarchitecture.com

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Address.

441 North 5th Street

Philadelphia PA 19123

 

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