SPARKS STREET HOUSE
Located in a Cambridge neighborhood that offers outstanding examples of both traditional and Modernist residential architecture, this new single-family home is rooted in Modernism and builds on a language of material simplicity and precise assemblage. Its form and organizing principles support direct connections to the landscape and allow the verdant site to mask its urban context, managing privacy for its occupants on a busy corner lot.
Residential, Single Family
The building’s form and envelope are restrained and focus on detail. Its massing consists of a two-story Ipe volume with a partial third floor loft and deck. The Ipe is low maintenance, a long-life-cycle wood that creates a fine-grained backdrop to the middle scale manipulations of window placement and carved spaces. Staggered wall studs provide exceptional depth for open cell insulation, thermal break, and wiring raceway. The Ipe rainscreen is fastened with concealed clips, providing a drainage plane and venting pathways for the building skin. And zinc lock-seam panels express areas of relief in the massing that accommodate entry, shade and shelter, and space for light penetration.
The design expresses the family’s ethos, particularly around sustainability and economy of means. It integrates many sustainable systems and innovative assemblies, including photovoltaic solar panels for supplemental electricity, an
FSC-certified rainscreen made of Ipe, staggered stud wall construction, ultra high efficiency boilers, and make-up air exchangers. Interior finishes are restrictedbto white plaster and walnut wood, emphasizing framed views of the site and private outdoor spaces.
Daylight washes through interior spaces that are organized around a figural stair connecting the first floor open living space, second floor bedrooms and studies, and a third floor master bedroom loft.
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design, LLC
RSE Associates, Inc.
Zero Energy Design
Columbia Design Group
ARCHITECTURAL STEEL FABRICATION
Erica Moody - Fine Metal Work