|9 Nov 2022|
|Advancing Architecture and Design|
Photo Credit: Colin Lenton
(Pictured from Right to Left: Derek Spencer, Justin Bright, Brenna March, Julia Celley, Andi Li, Colin Rupp, Jeff Pond, Gabriel Deck)
The annual Philadelphia Emerging Architect Prize recognizes a Philadelphia firm that has been established and licensed within the past ten years for its high-quality design and innovative thought.
Gnome Architects, Gabriel Deck, Principal and Design Director and Derek Spencer, Partner
The firm was founded by Gabriel Deck in 2014 under the name GJDesign and Architecture and completed 100+ projects, including single family renovations, and new construction homes in many of Philadelphia’s developing neighborhoods. Derek Spencer joined the firm as partner in 2017 when the business location moved into South Philadelphia's BOK Building, where it continues to grow and operate.
With only 4 employees in 2019, the firm officially underwent a re-branding to become Gnome Architects, a shift that exhibited the company's evolution into a multifaceted residential design firm. Gnome Architects now employs a team of 8, and has completed over 400 projects. The scale and typology of Gnome’s work continues to grow, with multi-family and mixed-use buildings of 50+ units, and custom homes outside of the Philadelphia area, including New Jersey, Maine, and Colorado.
Gnome has also been fortunate enough to give back to the community with pro bono projects for the Philadelphia School District, as well as The Ertz Foundation, which is currently renovating a church and community center in North Philadelphia. Some notable projects:
1513 Pine Street: Five, new construction, single family homes in the heart of Center City. With approval from the Philadelphia Historic Commission, this urban infill project has been designed with materials and proportions that compliment the historic nature of the street.
1621 Bainbridge Street: A new construction condo building in Graduate Hospital, set within a block of traditional red brick row-homes, the design of it's façade explores the use of patterns and shifts with contextual materials to create a new aesthetic language on the street.
1850 Woodside: This project consisted of a renovation and addition to an existing home in Newtown, PA. The original stone structure was once a schoolhouse and, over the years, had been converted into a residence with multiple additions. The new owners wanted to create a space to entertain and grow their family, which lead to a design that included the addition of an open concept living, kitchen, and dining space, along with a double-sided fireplace to connect to the outdoor living and entertaining spaces.
1723 Francis Street: Constructed as an assisted living facility in the Francisville neighborhood, the original building was rich with historical details and high ceilings, which made it ideal for adaptive reuse into a condo building. Working with the developer and the neighborhood association, the design incorporates the original corner building with a contemporary addition that houses a ground floor parking garage, and 24 residential units.
Congratulations to all of the individuals and firms recognized for their exceptional achievements in design.
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Kathy Dowdell has over 25 years of experience in architecture, interior design and historic preservation. More...