K&KA converted a 1,060 sf one-story medical office into its 3,000 sf modern architectural studio...

5 Belmont Avenue

K&KA converted a 1,060 sf one-story medical office into its 3,000 sf modern architectural studio.The existing structure, built in the 1950’s as a single family residence, was adapted to medical office space in the 1970’s incorporating several small exam rooms with limited natural daylight. In order to make the building and site function more effectively, floor area was increased with the addition of a second floor that cantilevers on three sides, as zoning restricted any additional first floor expansion. The new second floor offered an opportunity to transform the overall architectural style of the building and greatly increase day light illumination. Conceptually the building design establishes a modern suburban villa aesthetic with studio space that has commanding views of the tree lined boulevard. The design and construction work make sustainability and green building initiatives a priority.

Tongue and groove vertical cedar siding, copper coping, and aluminum storefront windows were combined with the existing orange brick to offset the distinctive massing of the floors. Black stain was used to help the transformative modern aesthetic recede into the landscape, and to enable the building exterior to cope with organic growth anticipated from the shade of the sycamore canopies. The landscape was replanted with drought resistant adaptive species. The second floor structural cantilevers and roof projections control solar exposure. Long span floor and roof trusses afford an open plan interior. A custom ash wood stair is highlighted by an overhead skylight, inviting ascension to the 2nd floor studio space. Downhill traffic on Penn Avenue is given a colorful glimpse of the late night life style of the architectural profession. The address, ‘5’ Belmont, is hand carved by Nick Benson of the John Stevens Shop, Newport, RI, on tablet of Buckingham Virginia slate.

Prior to renovations, the firm assisted in defining a new and significant local planning initiative entitled the “Penn Corridor.” The Penn Avenue/Penn Street Corridor planning study raises awareness of the attributes of the existing commercial context that spans the Wyomissing, West Reading, and Reading communities; linking potentially vibrant, and mutually supportive, suburban and urban zones along a 3.5 mile distance of commercial roadway. 5 Belmont Avenue is strategically sited along the Wyomissing expanse of the commercial corridor. The renovation project was highlighted in the Reading Eagle Business Section in an article directing attention to the Penn Corridor and its potential to improve the quality of life on the Corridor.

While LEED certification was not pursued, eligible credits are estimated to qualify this project for LEED Silver certification. The project received statewide recognition for design excellence from the American Institute of Architects. During the 2007 awards presentation in the State Capitol rotunda, Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll stated, “K&KA has maintained the highest standards in the world of architecture, I commend you for your commitment to excellence and for the advancements you have compiled as a leader in your field. The design and construction of 5 Belmont Avenue is a vision of creativity and will be admired for years to come. Our Commonwealth is fortunate to possess a business that, through dedication and service, has been responsive to the character and needs of its citizens.”


The John Stevens Shop

5 Belmont Avenue
Location: Wyomissing, PA | Year Completed: 2006
Construction Cost: $390,000 | Project Size: 3,000 sqft
Services: Architectural Design & Documentation/Interior Design/Construction Administration/Engineering coordination

LEED certification not pursued – significant sustainable design initiatives incorporated into project

Professional Recognition:

Citation of Merit – 2007 AIA Pennsylvania/Architectural Excellence Awards

Photo Credit: Tom Bernard