A Look Inside Graduate Hospital’s Carpenter Square

The townhomes offer lots of light, intelligent design and eco-friendly features.

Now that interior work on the 11 luxury townhomes at the Carpenter Square development at 17th and Carpenter is all but finished, developer Mark Scott and Realtor Michelle Ashley of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors offered the real estate community a chance to look over the finished product last week.

The three-bedroom townhomes, designed by architects Christopher Schaumburg and Brian Johnston, are filled with enough green design elements to qualify for LEED Gold certification. Some of these features are easy to spot, such as the pervious pavers in the rear drive aisle, the green roof, and the ceiling fans in every room except the kitchen (“we had one there too, but took it out of the final design,” said Scott).

But one of the more noteworthy ones is not immediately evident to the visitor: the giant thermal chimney disguised as the home’s main staircase.

The staircase is completely open from basement to top floor and capped by an openable skylight. When open, the skylight allows warm air to rise through the home and vent to the outside, providing passive cooling. The ceiling fans offer a further boost.

In addition to the eco-friendly stuff, the homes have some other intelligent design elements that make them more versatile. Take the top-floor master suite, for instance, which is designed so that it can be used for entertaining guests while preserving privacy.

The master bedroom is separated from the rest of the suite by a sliding pocket door, and the master bathroom is split into two parts: the shower and vanity are on one side of the hallway to the rear deck, while the toilet and a second sink are on the other, permitting its use as a guest bathroom.

Since the rear deck and roof deck both offer great views of the neighborhood and Center City, this thoughtful design should please visitors and owners alike.

On the main floor, the kitchen is in front to maximize the seamlessness of the indoor-outdoor connection between the living room and the first-floor rear deck.

In the basement is a bonus room with 11-foot-high ceilings and its own bathroom. The room, which also has a pocket door, can be used as a bedroom, home office, or den, among other uses.

Scott said that even the middle units get lots of light from the large windows in each room.

Sales of units in the development are coming along nicely. According to Scott, four of the 11 units have already been sold and a buyer is circling a fifth.