Cecil Baker + Partners is an architecture firm committed to pursuing contemporary design that advances and embraces the urban environment for governmental, educational, institutional and private sector clients. Based in Philadelphia, the firm’s services include feasibility studies, programming, design of new structures, adaptive reuse of existing structures, and interior design.
The persuasion of place. The power of simple shapes. The choreography of passage. The shared exploration. These four markers are Cecil Baker + Partners guideposts in the pursuit of cohesive, harmonious architecture.
Cecil Baker + Partners’ design projects fall into four primary categories: high-end residential (including multi- and single-family), affordable housing, institutional, and commercial. Central to each project is a dedication to creating buildings and sites that bring people in touch with culture, community and nature, while simultaneously understanding the civic responsibility of how their structures affect the surrounding environment. These philosophies shine through in the firm’s recent projects, 500 Walnut and One Riverside – two ultra-luxury, contemporary condominium towers built in the Society Hill and Fitler Square neighborhoods of Philadelphia. While changing the physical neighborhoods in which these towers were built, particular attention was given to ensuring that the buildings would fit seamlessly into the existing environment and positively impact the surrounding community and its inhabitants.
This same dedication to fostering community and civic responsibility is also critical to the firm’s affordable housing design projects. Cecil Baker + Partners’ work in the space includes multifamily housing for adults recovering from addiction, and affordable housing for low-income seniors and families with children in Philadelphia. The firm’s institutional work includes the design of a forthcoming non-profit center for adults with developmental disabilities in the bucolic suburbs of Bryn Mawr.
Cecil Baker + Partners’ designs have received regional and national accolades, including awards from The American Institute of Architects, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The firm’s designs have been published in the United States, Europe, Japan and South America.
Cecil Baker, managing principal and chief designer, founded Cecil Baker + Partners in 1982 in Philadelphia. Baker’s background as an architect and a real estate developer serves as his foundation for innovation and practicality. Baker stresses “spending his money on the sunny side of the drywall;” a fascination with the poetic possibilities of the everyday. The firm’s design process often becomes a choice on what to leave out, rather than what to put in.
In 2017, Cecil Baker + Partners celebrated 35 years in business. During the same year, the firm completed the architectural design of one of the most prestigious projects in its portfolio – 500 Walnut, a 26-story, ultra-luxury condominium tower that overlooks Independence National Historical Park.