This new, single family home is minimal in form and material, a contemporary counterpoint to the historic fabric of its Cambridge neighborhood that builds on a language of material simplicity and precise assemblage. The building’s form shields outdoor living spaces from the public realm of the street and organizes rooms around specific views and direct access to the protected, lush back yard landscape, managing privacy for its occupants. An intervening micro-courtyard, planted with a single tree, introduces nature and light deep into the living space of the attenuated plan. Daylight washes through interior spaces that are arranged around a figural stair connecting the first floor open living space to second floor bedrooms and studies.
Residential, Single Family
The building’s form and envelope are restrained and focus on detail. Its primary volume is clad in a hardwood rainscreen, establishing a fine-grained backdrop for carefully placed openings that guide entry, window, and view. Inside, its open plan is defined by luminous, white plaster walls paired with surfaces lined in white oak, all punctuated by a central, oak-lined stair that weaves past the first floor courtyard to the second floor living space.
This design supports the family’s attitude toward environmental stewardship, integrating many sustainable systems and innovative assemblies. Its FSC-certified rainscreen is made of Ipe, a low maintenance / long-life-cycle wood, and is fastened with concealed clips, providing a drainage plane and venting pathways for the building skin. Staggered wall studs afford exceptional depth for open cell insulation, thermal break, and wiring raceway. Ultra high efficiency boilers and make-up air exchangers minimize operating costs.
RSE Associates, Inc.
Zero Energy Design
CIVIL / GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER
Gilman Guidelli & Bellow Custom Builders