They say ‘life is bigger than your apartment’. This was the driving force behind designing The Hamilton – a 500k square foot mixed-use development on the Community College of Philadelphia’s campus and burgeoning Museum District neighborhood. Inspired by the growing trend toward living more sensibly, developer Radnor Property Group, teamed MSD alongside MYArchitecture, to prove that The Hamilton’s generous social spaces are all the living room you need.
Built from the ground up, the industrial interior pays homage to the site’s original operation as the Baldwin Locomotive factory and inspired us to collaborate with numerous local artisans in achieving a high level of customization through natural materials and eclectic furnishings. This luxury amenity space literally has a social space for every personality type. Whether you crave interaction and desire to catch a movie or shoot a game of pool with friends, prefer to work el fresco beside the open garage door in the company of others, or hole up in a study pod for solidarity, this space has you covered.
Built to cater to University City’s booming ‘eds and meds’ market, this 175,000 square foot mixed use property is comprised of commercial spaces on both the ground and roof top levels with one and two bedroom residential apartments in-between. We were called upon by the developer, Radnor Property Group, to work alongside Erdy McHenry Architecture in the selection of architectural materials as well as outfitting the amenity spaces. This included the building’s lobby, reception and leasing offices, as well as the club’s game room, lounge, kitchenette and roof top terrace with a panoramic view of the Philadelphia skyline. It was important that the spaces be bright and airy (again, the view!), but still comfortable and warm, inviting tenants to use them as extensions of their homes. The mix of furnishings, fabrics, accessories and materials used here are a diverse and dynamic mix of industrial, Scandinavian and contemporary styles speaking to a wide range of personalities.
When these Brooklyn transplants relocated from a townhouse to a condo high in the sky, they reached out to MSD to outfit their new space on the 49th floor of an iconic Philadelphia building. Of course, the view is the star here, so custom millwork and a mix of custom and classic furnishings were all kept at window sill height or below. Custom motorized shades were a necessary addition, kept nondescript as they are the same colors as the rooms they occupy. Speaking of color, everything was kept light, save for the custom dark walnut millwork in the library, where a beloved vintage lighted sign was incorporated into the design.
Game room? Check. Coffee bar? Check. Contemporary art gallery? Check. Recent trends in residential multi-family design have been taking cues from the high-end hospitality industry. Case in point, this project, which though it could be a boutique hotel, consists of five residential apartment buildings on 26 acres in King of Prussia, PA. After a complete architectural revamp to the existing site by Varenhorst, Michael Shannon Designs was called upon to appoint the interiors of the public spaces.
The minimalism of the architectural choices is mirrored by the classic silhouettes of the furniture selections, while bold pops of color and pattern were inspired by Takashi Murakami and the like, whose works are displayed throughout the separate buildings in varied media. One structure even features a curated, rotating gallery. It was important for MSD to maintain the clean, bright, open feel of the overall property, but bring a sense of human scale (and fun!) to each individual space.
MSD was brought on to design the interior amenity spaces of a newly constructed residential apartment building in Ann Arbor, near the University of Michigan. We were inspired by the existing industrial aesthetic of the space, but of course added touches of whimsy, color and humor to appeal to college students and young professionals alike. (Did you see those chairs made of recycled street signs?!)
Some highlights of the spaces designed include the first floor, equipped with a custom ping pong table, a shuffleboard table and a modern pool table with a custom chandelier above. Lounge seating areas throughout liken the space to a boutique hotel, while the materials and fabrics utilized warm up the otherwise raw surroundings.
On the second floor, a collaborative work space is outfitted with custom benches and banquettes with built-in power, cushioned in classic, playful fabrics. Custom tables and wall murals help to inspire interaction and creativity. The use of contemporary art prints and color blocking continues in the indoor-outdoor third floor spa lounge, the perfect extension of the adjacent roof deck and hot tub.
Although we can’t take credit for the breathtaking Hudson River views, the marriage of architectural and organic elements throughout this home is one we are very proud of. The goal of the project was to create a dramatic living environment that exuded comfort and sophistication, while complementing the home’s surroundings. Everywhere you look there are custom elements – from the bench-made, rift cut oak millwork to one of a kind area rugs and unique lighting design, these clients were not afraid to experiment with new ideas and transform their space into one that functions for their lifestyle.
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