Weekend on South Broad Street: “A Clean Break” and Dranoff’s 777

A recent walk along South Broad Street featured many new sites that were not there over the summer. 

A Clean Break

Namely, the stellar citywide exhibition that is DesignPhiladelphia 2008 transformed a vacant lot across the street from the Kimmel Center into a prefab display called A Clean Break.  The outdoor exhibition includes full-scale modern, sustainable home models currently being used in affordable housing design across the country (including right here in West Philadelphia). 


Prefab affordable housing model being used in West Philadelphia

Though temperatures are dropping, it is worth strolling through to see how prefab does not necessarily preclude a sense of place, and the array of “high-design, low-waste” consumer products on display.



Sustain Design Studio’s “miniHome”

Walk-through home models were featured from various firms; one of the most interesting and thorough displays was the one from Sustain Design Studio, which presented a “miniHome” designed using a trailer typology for its small footprint and noteworthy for its relative low impact on nature. The interior is equally impressive, showing a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom in a space almost as small as the shipping container used as a tool for urban farming in another part of the exhibit.


miniHome interior

Other highlights included street furniture made from thrown-away materials, biodegradable public spaces, and a sample bike sharing lock system.



An old port shipping container used for vertical farming.

For more information, check out www.acleanbreak.org. THE EXHIBIT CLOSES ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, so check it out while you can.


A bus shelter that uses photovoltaic cells to store solar energy during the day and illuminate at night



Another walk-in housing model

777 South Broad Street

Walk a couple blocks further south to Broad and Fitzwater, and you will find one of the few large-scale development projects in Philly that is still moving.  It’s 777, the latest in urban boutique living brought to you by Dranoff Properties.  The development promises loft living at a smaller scale than Dranoff’s nearby Symphony House, and will be outfitted with the latest in green design technology.  It will also include the usual Dranoff amenities, such as a fitness center, clubroom, and roof deck. 
As the pictures show, the site has been leveled and the skeleton for the ground-floor retail (which will surely enliven the corridor) is underway.  Anyone interested in tracking the site’s progress, feel free to send photos our way and we will post them on the Notebook.






Posted by Andrew Goodman.  Contact him at agoodman@design.upenn.edu

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