PURITY OF DESIGN Society Hill Townhouse - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Award-winning architect and designer Kevin Yoder of k YODER design, Philadelphia, used a Geberit Duofix carrier system to creatively renovate a powder room and master bath in his Society Hill townhouse.
Society Hill is a historic neighborhood in the oldest part of Philadelphia. An urban renewal program beginning in the 1960s restored the area and its many historic buildings, including Independence Hall. Society Hill is now one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city, and the district is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Kevin Yoder and his firm, k YODER design , performed an extensive interior renovation of a Society Hill townhouse, originally designed by famed architect I.M. Pei in 1962. The renovation respects the purity of the original design and incorporates 21st century technology and luxury amenities into a compact, minimalistic footprint.
The outside of the townhouse maintains its original classic midcentury design, while on the inside Yoder used his talents to create an updated, spacious, and functional home with a similar modern aesthetic and today’s conveniences. The existing 1960s bathrooms were redone as part of the update. This required removing, replacing, and relocating all of the plumbing and fixtures.
Because of the limited space, plumbing restrictions, and the floor and wall structure of the townhouse, regular floor-standing toilets would not have allowed the same opportunities for design flexibility.
Yoder first became familiar with Geberit while working on the design and specifications for the guest room suites of the 5-Star luxury hotel chain Shangri-La, based in Hong Kong.
Yoder then used Geberit systems in his own home located in the Society Hill townhouse complex. “The Geberit in-wall system transforms the powder room into the modern, minimal look we wanted by concealing the toilet tank,” says Yoder. Minimalism in interior design means designing every room—even the bathroom—with a combination of simplicity, sophistication, beauty, and practicality.
Following the successful renovation of his own home, Yoder designed and renovated a second townhouse in his complex for a professional couple. Yoder presented many creative solutions to the clients, and the Geberit wall-hung toilet was one of them.
Yoder incorporated wall-hung toilets and Geberit in-wall systems for both powder rooms and the master bathroom in his clients’ townhome. “The ability to capture wall space makes Geberit systems very attractive when designing within existing conditions,” says Yoder.
“We wanted the powder room to complement our classic modern design concept. We recommend Geberit in-wall systems for our clients not only for the space saving, but also to accommodate the plumbing in the wall rather than tearing up the flooring. We won’t recommend a product we don’t use ourselves as in the case of Geberit in my own townhome,” says Yoder.
The Geberit Concealed Tank and Carrier System gives the powder room an entirely new look by mounting the toilet on the wall and concealing the tank and other functional components in the wall, creating a very clean, minimalistic design with flexibility for fixture placement. Yoder added that Geberit in-wall systems work especially well in high-rise residential or historic home bathroom renovations, where space for plumbing may be limited.
The Geberit System provides unlimited possibilities for bathroom design by allowing the plumbing fixtures to float above the floor. In Yoder’s townhouse, finishing off with Geberit Sigma 30 polished chrome flush plates complements the powder room with an elegant touch that combines simple and smooth lines, visual elegance, and effortless operation.
Design Firm: k YODER design
Interior Designer: Kevin Yoder, AIA
Bathroom Photo: © Jeffrey Totaro