Christ Church Neighborhood House

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

After a century in service to the oldest Episcopal church in America, Christ Church, the adjacent Neighborhood House required renovation to better meet the needs of the congregation, community groups, and the Church’s 250,000 annual visitors. Vital to the church, as the home of its offices and archive, the Neighborhood House also includes an event space, preschool, and a gym that serves as performance space for the Fringe Theater Festival and other non-traditional events.

To address the situation, VMA sought to harmonize all the activity on the site at the same time that it would upgrade to meet current fire and accessibility codes. A close examination revealed underutilized spaces that were incorporated to better choreograph movement throughout the buildings. A new fully-glazed atrium linked the Neighborhood House with the adjacent Washburn House. These two key steps resulted in clearer paths of circulation, location for a fire stair and elevator, and a universally accessible entry which connects to the Church and its historic burial grounds.

Landscape completed in association with Sikora Wells Appel.


Grand Jury Award, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, 2014
General Building Contractors Association Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter, Award for Excellence in Construction, 2010


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Size: 24,000 sf
Budget: $2.6 million


Architecture, Historical Preservation, Planning, Landscape

Christ Church Neighborhood House

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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