Dating back to the 1880s, this former pickle factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was recently converted into a live-work studio for photographer Jaime Alvarez and girlfriend Leah Shepperd. Renovated by Bright Common, the Fishtown loft is now eco-friendly and adaptable as well as historic.

Today, the home is retrofitted with a bevy of sustainable features, including solar panels, air-sealed and insulated construction, natural lighting and ventilation, an air-to-air heat pump, LED lamps, Energy Star appliances, and low-flow plumbing. Additionally, the design favors naturally finished timber, repurposed decor, and exposed brick. The wooden countertops and island in the kitchen are upcycled from bowling lanes, a playful touch. Nodding to the industrial origins of the space, the metal decor in the kitchen is a vintage elevator motor, and the pre-existing brickwork goes back to the building’s pickle-making days.

The warm facade is clad in brick and features arch-top entrances crafted from Douglas fir. Similar doors lead out to the front-facing balconies as well. The rear balcony and patio have a sharper, more modern look with rectangular, glazed metal doors. The contemporary balcony is cut out with leaf-shaped perforations for a nature-inspired take on urban design, and the spacious patio is partially walled with corrugated steel.

Back inside the building, the fine-art photography studio measures approximately 1,000 square feet. Spacious and versatile, the area is furnished with wheeled worktops in the main room and a concrete sink beside the balcony.

The home’s more private areas include a vintage-styled bedroom and an en-suite bathroom. In the bedroom, a dark timber beam runs across the ceiling and provides a place for suspending plants. The organic element is mirrored in the bathroom, where greenery hangs on the same metal rod that supports the glass shower door.

Via Philly Mag; photography by Jaime Alvarez

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Holly

Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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