Juliet Whelan

Coloring Outside the Lines

As an architect trained in the modernist tradition, I believe in the tenet, “be true to the material.” But a recent trip to Mexico broadened my understanding of what it means to be “true”. It also changed my thinking about paint – in particular, painted exterior masonry and concrete.  Kahn, Ando, and my current fave, Rick Joy, embrace the purity…

The Tiny Streets and Trinity Row Houses of Philadelphia

Trinities, built to house the artisan classes of the 18th century, and the narrow streets that contain them, warrant a closer look.

Some of America’s first urban workers lived in a unique type of Philadelphia home called a Trinity. Examples date from 1720. Trinities were built to house the artisan classes flocking to a burgeoning city; but while these workers moved on to populate America, the Trinity House didn’t follow them. But the Trinity and the narrow streets that contain them warrant a…

Two Green Building Initiatives Go Way Beyond LEED

Passive House principals and Living Building Challenge criterion are pointing the way forward to a more sustainable future.

“Patchwork”, Living City Challenge Entry The sustainability rating systems—Passive House, Living Building Challenge, and Net Zero (a subset of the Challenge)—appear in isolated new construction projects. The promise and perversity of trying to pick out sustainability targets, building by building, within a tightly woven urban fabric can be examined in Philadelphia. Here, the architecture/development dynamo Onion Flats proposes to build…