Brian Phillips, AIA, LEED AP

Principal, ISA – Interface Studio Architects

Brian Phillips is founding Principal of ISA, a design and research office engaged with projects across the U.S., from housing and master plans to installations. ISA has won over two dozen local, regional, and national design citations, including an AIA Silver Medal, AIA National Housing Award, AIA COTE Top Ten Award, and USGBC LEED for Homes Project of the Year. Phillips was awarded a 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts and was named an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York in 2015. He is a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design where he teaches a graduate urban housing studio.

Best New Architecture

I think Weiss/Manfredi's Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania is my favorite recently completed project. I'm also interested to see Bjarke Ingels’s new office building currently under construction at the Navy Yard.

Best Shopping

Joseph Fox Bookshop on Sansom Street, hands down.

Best Historic Architecture

Check out the collision between old and new in Society Hill. Genuine Colonial fabric rubs up against I.M. Pei's Society Hill Towers and a series of more modest mid-century row house experiments. We're big fans of the 1924 Granary near Center City on 20th Street. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Granary is one of the first examples of slip-form concrete in the world. It's also across the street from The Barnes Foundation by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

Best Restaurants and Bars

Be sure to get a little off the beaten path and come up to our neck of the woods in Kensington/Fishtown. Grab coffee at La Colombe or Reanimator, a beer at Memphis Taproom, dinner at Kensington Quarters, and catch some music at Johnny Brenda's.