With their move from the City of Light to the Capital of Education, the owners – who had been looking for a small already renovated house – fell in love with this rambling 19th century house on historic Brattle Street,…
This mid-century modern house was transformed from a municipal garage into a private house in the late 1950’s by renowned modernist architect Paul Rudolph. At project start the house was in pristine condition, virtually untouched since it won a Record Houses award in 1960. We were tasked with bringing the house up to current energy efficiency standards and with reorganizing the house to accommodate the new owners’ more contemporary needs, while also respecting the noteworthy original design.
Our work included the redesign of the exterior walls and glazing to include a new wall of 10’ high triple-paneled sliding doors and windows on the main façade. These doors open the home to the adjacent courtyard and provide excellent natural ventilation.
The other three exterior walls, which are largely below grade, and the roof received insulation in excess of that which code requires. All new energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, including heat recovery ventilation, was installed to bring the home up to modern standards. The result was much greater energy efficiency and thermal comfort for the family.
Organizationally, the central living space was preserved while the side wings were reorganized to suit the specific needs of the family. The kitchen was relocated from an enclosed side room to one side wall of the main central living space, freeing up space for modernized bathrooms, bedrooms, and studies.
To house the book collection of the studious family, a leaky fiberglass roof above an existing “winter garden” was replaced with an insulated glazing system to allow year-round library use and improved natural day lighting. Structural improvements were required throughout to bring the house up to current building standards. The renovation resulted in a comfortable modern home that pays great homage its mid-century past.