100K House / Interface Studio Architects

© Courtesy of

Architects: Interface Studio Architects
Location: Philadelphia, PA,
Client: Postgreen Homes
Major Funding: Private development
Concept/Lead Architect(s)/Designer(s): Interface Studio Architects
Structural Engineers: Larsen and Landis
Contractor/Manufacturer: Manor Hill Construction / Hybrid Construction
Additional Consultants: MaGrann Associates – LEED
Project area: 1,150 sq. ft.
Project year: 2008-2010
Photographs: Interface Studio Architects, Sam Oberter

© Courtesy of Interface Studio Architects

The recent housing bubble has driven American houses to extreme sizes and exurban locations. Too often, housing value has been determined through complicated equations based on square footage and marketable features, rather than spatial, material, or environmental quality. Even in cities like Philadelphia, low-cost mortgages have helped to foster a culture of “bigger is better.”

The 100K Houses were conceived as a response to this unsustainable approach to housing. Small, efficient, and super-green, the 100K Houses provide sustainable, affordable options for first-time Philadelphia homebuyers.


The average single-family home in the U.S. has ballooned in size over the past few decades. Oversized homes are largely the result of cheap materials, poor-quality design, and unrealistic economic expectations. Small is the new normal.

We define efficient, cost-effective construction and exploit that position for design opportunities. The 100K Houses riff on simple materials and flush facades, employing texture, pattern and color as low cost, high impact treatments.

© Courtesy of Interface Studio Architects

The 100K Houses employ a passive strategy focused on envelope rather than systems. This strategy yielded LEED for Homes Platinum certification and HERS ratings between 42 and 24 (performing 58% to 76% better than homes designed to baseline energy code).

Cite: "100K House / Interface Studio Architects" 07 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=108939>
  • http://chazhuttonsfsm.tumblr.com/ Chaz

    Nice. There’s also an Unhappy Hipsters caption to be had here.

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    Nice cladding…. well balanced simplisity… almost boring… but not boring yet…

  • tomas

    it¨s really interesting how the building relates to the street..It really enhances the street and makes it more attractive and alive. And the cladding is really avantgarde! Haven¨t seen such a design before. And wow, the hipsters inside really looks cool! Future!

  • jdcarling

    Nice deisgn and improvement for the neighborhood.

    What does $100,000 include? IE permits, land cost, design fess, materials, etc….

  • fb

    Nice small row house for a family of 2-3.

    Looks pretty good, except for the stairs. Would someone please just install a regular rail!

  • FRM

    This is a watered-down version of Lorcan O’herlihy’s vertical house.