Thin Flats — 2010 Global Award for Excellence Winner

Thin Flats

About the Thin Flats

Developer/Owner: Onion Flats LLC
Architect: Plumbob LLC
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Why the Thin Flats?

This eight-unit residential project explores the architecturally potential hidden within the traditional form of the Philadelphia “Row” home. The vertical rhythm, regularity, and diversity of this most prevalent residential urban typology was the primary source of the inspiration for this experiment. The Philadelphia “Row” is by nature a long, thin slice of dense, sustainable, urban space, typically ‘light-deficient’ and insular at its core. Thin Flats questions this traditional ‘deficiency’ by reconfiguring the relationship between the interior and its skin such that its ‘core’ is flooded with light and air. This skin also affords each room on the ‘periphery’ of the dwelling the ability to step outside, and yet remain within the skin.

Thin Flats…

Thin Flats


  • First LEED for Homes Platinum Certified up/down duplexes in the Country
  • Solar Thermal panels to provide domestic hot water needs
  • Planted ‘green’ roofs to decrease thermal heat gain, prolong roof life, assist in stormwater management
  • HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation) system – indoor air quality system
  • Rainwater harvesting cisterns for irrigation of yards/gardens

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