John C Anderson Apartments Wins 2015 AIA National Housing Award

Philadelphia, PA - Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), an integrated design firm of architects, landscape architects and planners, has announced that its project, the John C Anderson Apartments (JCAA), has been awarded a 2015 National Housing Award by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award will be formally presented at AIA's national convention in Atlanta on May 14, 2015. The National Housing Award celebrates projects that best exemplify the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource.  JCAA is the first affordable senior housing project in the Eastern United States to be developed with the active involvement of an LGBT community group and with the specific intent of providing a safe and welcoming "LGBT-Friendly" living environment for the community's under-served lower-income elders. The project is being honored in part because of how the design team worked to engage that community throughout the process and realize a key objective of having seniors remain active participants in the life of Philadelphia's highly urban and diverse Washington Square West neighborhood.  To help achieve the goal of integrating the project into its neighborhood, ground floor and common areas are designed to be highly visible and welcoming to passers-by and to promote opportunities for inter-generational mixing. Special features in the project include a main lounge area that's treated more like an informal library. Built-in bookshelves in that area are quickly being filled with items donated by residents to create an LGBT-oriented collection.  That space, along with other key common areas are positioned around a 5,000 square foot, sun-filled exterior courtyard that provides secure outdoor seating areas as well as spaces for more active recreational activities and community gardening. JCAA has a strong focus on sustainability and is considered a true transit-oriented development. "Residents are a short distance to many commercial, cultural and health care services Philadelphia has to offer," said Joe Salerno, AIA, LEED AP, Senior Associate at WRT "The location is also very close to two subway lines, several SEPTA bus routes and is along one of the city's new dedicated bike routes (along S. 13th street)." Sustainable features within the apartment building include a vegetated roof to help reduce demand on the City's storm water infrastructure, solar panels to address the building's domestic hot water needs and a high-performance thermal envelope that substantially reduces mechanical loads. Click here to learn more about John C Anderson Apartments.  


About WRTWRT is a dynamic cross disciplinary firm offering services in planning, urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture. For more than 50 years, WRT has been dedicated to improving the quality of the natural and built environments by applying principles of sustainability to the planning and design of buildings, landscapes, cities, and regions. The firm has been the recipient of more than 400 planning and design awards both nationally and internationally. For more information, please visit     

Courtesy of WRT