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2011 Trenton Ave Arts Festival May 12, 2011

Posted by benchdogdesign in Events.
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The Trenton Ave Arts Festival in Fishtown is Saturday May 21st from noon to 5pm. This all day event features the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.  The festival is a celebration of all thing local and will be filled with live music, food and 150+ artists and vendors.

This will be Bench Dog Design’s second year as a vendor. Last year we focused on frames (both pictures and mirror frames)– this year we’ll be showcasing a series of new plant/garden items. The carefully crafted item include herb planters, windowboxes and more.

Below is a sneak peek at an indoor herb plant for kitchen counter tops.

Date: Saturday May 21st
Time: noon to 5pm (sprinkle or shine)
Place: Trenton Avenue in Fishtown (between E. Norris Street and Frankford Avenue at York Street)
Getting there:
–By Bike (there will be free valet bike paking at the corner of Trenton Ave and Dauphin St)
–By El: Berks (just a 2 block walk. follow the music, the smell of food . . . or the signs they have posted)

Hope to see you there.

Visit the festival’s blog for more information and artist highlights.

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Join us for the BIA Green Tour, Thurs. 4/28 April 19, 2011

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Bench Dog Design is excited to be participating in this year’s Building Industry Assoc. of Philadelphia (BIA) Green Tour. The tour will highlight sustainably designed projects in the Graduate Hospital area, including our own Montrose Green rowhouse renovation. Other participants include 777 S. Broad St, our friends at Bancroft Green, and a historic renovation on Delancey Street. See below for more details!

It’s One of the BIA’s Most Popular Events–The Green Tour,  April 28

Join the BIA for the 3rd Annual Green Tour on Thursday, April 28 from 2 til 5 and see what’s coming up green in the Graduate Hospital and Rittenhouse Square neighborhoods. This vibrant and walkable part of Center City has become a popular area for new green construction. You’ll begin at 777 South Broad (click here for directions), with stops that include townhomes like Montrose Green and a handsome historic renovation that’s gone green.

Green roofs, pervious paving, geothermal heating and cooling, innovative insulation products, repurposed woods, solar, and balanced heat recovery ventilation are some of the technologies you’ll see in place.

Happy hour at the Black Sheep Pub ends the tour.

Download a registration form here.

Registration for members is just $45 ($55 for non-members) and includes happy hour. There will be a $10 surcharge for registrations received after April 22 so download a form and register today.

Email Bench Dog Design at info@benchdogdesign.com or post a message on our Facebook page if you have any questions.  We hope to see you there!

Dwell Magazine March 15, 2011

Posted by benchdogdesign in Press.
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Check out the April issue of Dwell Magazine with the theme Cheap and Chic: Great Design for Less.

The 100k House in the Fishtown/East Kensington section of Philadelphia is featured in the “Dwellings” section. It is part of a larger piece entitled “Dollar, Dollar Build Y’all.” Focusing on cost effective homes, it contains 3 separate articles chronicling the journey of building affordable modern homes in different cities. (In addition to Philly, homes in Seattle and Tijuana are featured.) The ambitious 100k House by Interface Studio Architects has been praised for its sustainable practices and is a forerunner of possibilities with reaches far beyond the neighborhood and the city.

In the article titled “See What Develops” (Story by Aaron Britt, Photos by Mark Mahaney) Bench Dog Design’s custom dining table is mentioned a few times in the article and captured in 2 of the photos.

We’re honored to be published in Dwell alongside our friends at Postgreen and ISA.

New residential project September 20, 2010

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We are in the final stages of a 3-story, custom designed, single family home in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia. It is a ‘design-build’ project where Bench Dog Design was responsible for the architectural design and the construction of the home.

The project is a new construction “infill” type where the old abandoned house was deconstructed, all the material was salvaged, and a new house was framed up on the existing basement. The home is on track to be Energy Star Qualified. We actually designed the project to a LEED Gold standard and are projecting up to 50% energy savings. The home is roughly 2,000 SF (including a partially finished basement) and has 3-BR, 2.5 Ba, and a deck off the master suite. There will also be a full green roof with patio and rainwater harvesting system installed this coming fall.

One of the main features in the house is the centrally located “thermal chimney” (also known as a “solar chimney”) which provides passive ventilation for the home most of the year. At the top of the open shaft there are remote controlled motorized skylights that vent open to allow warm air to escape. This feature also provides another important service: it allows natural light to penetrate down into the central areas of the house. The section diagram below shows how it works:

Some of the sustainable features include:

  • Eco-friendly + recycled finishes
  • Reclaimed + FSC certified woods
  • Passive ventilation system
  • High-performance building envelope
  • Daylighting + solar shading
  • Energy-efficient fixtures + system

The house was designed for a landscape architect who desired a strong connection to the outside. This was accomplished with extra-large windows and also by placing the kitchen in the middle of the house and the living room at the back. This allowed us to have full glazing across the back of the house with large sliding glass doors (below).

Another innovative feature of the house is the facade. It is a rainscreen cladding system using both fiber-cement panels and wood planks. This is a ventilated system that allows the facade to “breath” by letting any moisture behind the cladding make it’s way down and allowing air to circulate up…continually “drying out” the building envelope.  The two woods we used for the rainscreens were IPE (Brazilian Walnut) on the front bay (shown at top) and Black Locust on the rear bay (shown above). The main portion of the front facade is clad in high-density, fiber-cement panels and the outside of the front bay is wrapped with Zinc-coated recycled metal panels.

We were able to do numerous custom woodworking items in the house as well. One of the main pieces is a 2-story high wall, clad with reclaimed Heart Pine floor planks (below). This wood, as with all the reclaimed wood used in the project, came from the original house and were salvaged during the demolition process.

Above is the powder room wall-hung vanity constructed of reclaimed floor joists. We integrated a beautiful Duravit sink on top.

We are currently in the process of wrapping up a few other interior projects. These include a custom built-in bookcase (made from reclaimed joists and roof boards), two bartops (made from joists), and a 7’x7′ barn door (made with reclaimed roof boards). We will post some pictures of these as soon as they are installed.

Arts Fest Photos May 25, 2010

Posted by benchdogdesign in Events, Project Highlight.
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Below are just a few photos from our booth at the Trenton Ave Arts Festival in Fishtown on Saturday May 22nd. We featured some small scale works such as picture frames and tealight candle holders along with our mobius end table, large wall mirrors. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our table. We had a great time alongside the Kinetic Derby festivities.

It was apparent that the favorite item in the lot was our Wide Plank Wall Mirror. The frame was made from 8 inch wide roof boards salvaged from a rowhome at 18th and Carpenter Streets in South Philly. –SOLD–

Trenton Ave Arts Fest May 19, 2010

Posted by benchdogdesign in Events, Project Highlight.
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The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival is taking place this Saturday May 22nd. This favorite Fishtown event brings out the community and is jammed-packed with local artists, vendors, music and food. Bench Dog Design will be there showcasing and selling some new items, all made from reclaimed, locally salvaged wood. We’ll be sharing a space with Be Frank Studio, who will be selling their handmade papergoods.

Date: Saturday May 22nd, 2010
Time: Noon to 5pm
Location: Trenton Avenue between E. Norris Street and Frankford Avenue at York Street, in Fishtown
How to get there: by bike, bus (route #5), the el (berks stop), car, or on foot if you live in the hood.
Click here for a map
More information here.

Bench Dog Design is excited to introduce some of our newly crafted smaller-scale items including picture frames, candle holders, and mirror frames. Below is a sneak-peak at our tealight candle holders, available in 3 sizes. These lovely pieces are crafted from former joists from a house in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. The nail holes, that once attached wooden lath strips for plaster, are clearly visible in each piece. Knots, cracks, and other ‘imperfections’ add to the character of the pieces. Be sure to stop by our booth and check them out.


Lived in: 100k House Table Photos April 8, 2010

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Bench Dog Design created a kitchen table/conference for postgreen’s first residential project called the 100k House. Their goal was to design and build a modern and green urban house that could be built for only $100 psf in construction costs and chronicled their process on their blog. The House is currently being lived in by Chad and Courtney Ludemen (both of postgreen)—along with the newest addition to the family—baby Teague. They recently posted ‘Images of Living in the 100k‘ with finished and furnished photographs of the house.

The 100k house first floor as seen from the back patio door.

The 100k House kitchen and dining area.

Courtney working at the table.

To see more images of the house, visit Postgreen’s flickr page.

Project Highlight: Making Big with a Little Vestibule March 10, 2010

Posted by benchdogdesign in Project Highlight.
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What do you do when there just isn’t enough room to build a coat closet, a coat stand takes up too much space in your living room, and typical wall mounted coat hooks just don’t seem to fit with your home?

Introducing the vestibule at a residence in Fishtown:

Inspired by the look of exposed wood lath (the structural system that holds up plaster walls) and the need for a place to hang a coat or two, the project solves the problem while creating a welcoming image to the home that isn’t cluttered like a conventional coat rack or taking up too much space such as a coat closet.  One of the walls and ceiling are covered with narrow, horizontal strips of wood. The exposed plaster wall is painted with a chartreuse green, while the door and trim are painted with a cool gray.  This creates a bright yet balanced composition for the entry to the home. As an added element– antique doorknobs are inserted sporadically (and can be moved, adjusted as needed), for use as coat hooks, leash hooks, hat hooks, and just about anything else you are looking to hang. The door knobs were purchased at Second Chance Architectural Salvage in Baltimore, an excellent place that consists of 4 warehouse full of re-used finds. The best part is that whether or not something is hanging on the knobs, you still have a wall that is pleasing to look at and wouldn’t be embarrassed by when welcoming a friend or neighbor into your home.

Lastly, a light fixture was needed to brighten the vestibule. Often fixtures can be out of scale with the size of the room and their aesthetic can detract from the space. The fixture chosen for this project is a very simple pole with a clear linear bulb. It throws just the right amount of light and it is small and compact.  The fixture and lamp are thin and long which ties back to the wood strips and completes the composition.

In the end the space is welcoming as well as functional, both are critical in any urban home.

[Photos by Kate Devlin.]

Check It Out February 16, 2010

Posted by benchdogdesign in Press.
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The March 2010 issue of Grid Magazine features a House & Home section entitled ‘Noble Salvage’. It’s all about the new lives of re-claimed and re-purposed materials and the people behind them. This jammed packed issue also includes a 16 page Farmbook insert. Read the whole issue online through the digital edition.

Check out pages 22 to 23. Bench Dog has a lovely 2 page spread alongside local furniture company Stable Tables.

Grid Magazine January 25, 2010

Posted by benchdogdesign in News.
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Bench Dog Design might have a small feature in the upcoming issue of Grid Magazine, based on interviews with Christopher Stromberg and Dave Quadrini. Grid is a publication that highlights sustainability in the City of Brotherly Love, and best of all, it’s free. The magazine is available at stores and restaurants throughout Philly— and online.

Once it prints, we’ll be sure to let you know.