Bright Common

Bright Common

Philadelphia, PA



Built in 1907, this once public bath house at Front and Thomson Streets sits at the cross roads of three neighborhoods: Fishtown, South Kensington, and Northern Liberties. Closed as a public pool in 1960 and finally abandoned in 1992, it quickly fell into a state of disrepair. Today, a locally grown, play-based arts and enrichment center for kids and their parents sits within. This modern-industrial space hosts art and music instruction, adventure-based play, and a small café. It is one of many structures that has sprung up beneath the EL to revitalize the Front Street corridor. This project was designed as a Passive House level, deep-energy retrofit. A Passive House approach enables electricity as the power source for PlayArts, creating a truly sustainable project leading towards a more resilient local community. 


  • Preservation Alliance --> 2017 Grand Jury Award
  • Delaware Valley Green Building Council --> 2017 Groundbreaker finalist
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Status: Built
Location: Philadelphia, PA, US
Firm Role: Architect + Certified Passive House Designer
Additional Credits: Steve Yutzy-Burkey: design builder