Tiny Tower

Architect: ISA

Owner: Callahan Ward

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Category: One- and Two-Family Production Homes (category two)

Tiny Tower represents a solution for unusually narrow infill lots, placing a 1250 SF home on a 12’ by 29’ parcel in the Brewerytown section of Philadelphia.

Although it measures only 38’ in height, Tiny Tower is organized like a full-scale skyscraper. These small lots are otherwise typically used as expanded backyards or accessory parking. An expanded section that maximizes height under the zoning code as well as depth of foundation creates six levels of usable space. The design promotes vertical living for both indoor and outdoor space, occupying the entire footprint of the site in the required setbacks with a lower level window garden, a second level walk out terrace, and a roof deck. Tiny Tower demonstrates how small scale can feel large in amenity and experience.

Additional information

Engineer - Structural: Larsen & Landis

Engineer - Electrical: J&M Engineering  

Engineer - Mechanical: J&M Engineering

General Contractor: Callahan Ward

Stair Fabricator: EnMotion Design


Simon Ha, AIA (Jury Chair), Steinberg Hart, Los Angeles, California

Kai-Uwe Bergmann, FAIA, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), New York, New York

Hans Butzer, AIA, Butzer Architects and Urbanism, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mary Cerrone, AIA, Mary Cerrone Architects, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Image credits

Tiny Tower-03 R

Sam Oberter Photography

Tiny Tower-04 R

Sam Oberter Photography

Tiny Tower-07 R

Sam Oberter Photography

Tiny Tower-08 R

Sam Oberter Photography

Tiny Tower-09 R

Sam Oberter Photography

Tiny Tower-05 R

Sam Oberter Photography