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In the White Room with No Curtains

A single-room Philadelphia home is designed for work and play

In an all-white 3,000-foot loft space in downtown Philadelphia, artist Dita Hoeber and historian Frank Hoeber have fostered a creative live/work environment in the shell of a former window factory. In the process of planning for the renovation, the pair called on architectural firm Qb3 to, among other things, help design a modular storage system that houses books, kitchenware, and artifacts in different sections of the home. Patrycja Doniewski, a founding partner at Qb3, explains, “The storage and display cases delineate the floor plan like chess pieces, each responding to the activity of the space it demarks.” Since the Hoebers like to play the role of hosts, bringing a mix of clients and friends to the space on a regular basis, everything is arranged in a meticulous and orderly fashion. 

White Loft by Qb3 | Knoll Inspiration

Photograph by Todd Mason.

The couple selected Pratt + Lambert Designer White #33-1 for its light-dissipating quality, capitalizing on the loft's abundant sources of natural light. Against this neutral backdrop, the home’s furnishings are framed as objects worthy of formal and sculptural consideration, in addition to their primary uses.

White Loft by Qb3 | Knoll Inspiration

“The storage and display cases delineate the floor plan like chess pieces, each responding to the activity of the space it demarks.”

—Patrycja Doniewski

Photograph by Todd Mason.

The interior is punctuated with pieces of heritage furniture and well-worn books that grant a subdued warmth to the clutter-free space. Factory-style pendant lights hang over a maple dining table surrounded by Vignelli Design’s Handkerchief Chair, whose form emulates the windblown contours of an air-suspended handkerchief. The Vignellis introduced the PaperClip™ Table as a companion piece in 1994, using the same material vocabulary to achieve a similar weightless elegance. Of the inspiration for the design, Massimo Vignelli offered, "We wanted to give these chairs their own table: same lightness, same feeling, same uses." Equally suited for domestic and workplace settings, the ergonomic, stackable chairs cater to demands of the dual-use space.

Project Credits:

Design: Qb3 Design
Photography: Todd Mason


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Handkerchief Chair
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PaperClip Table