Residential Design

VOL2 2019

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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A House for Grandmother SMOOK ARCHITECTURE & URBAN DESIGN WESTBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS Although Clay Smook, principal of SMOOK Architecture, has done his share of houses over his 30 years in practice, this was his first suburban commission. Trained as an urbanist at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Clay's residential work has occurred largely in second home areas, so he was quite eager to take on a project with infrastructure and context. This new 2,800-square-foot house and garage building in Needham, Massachusetts, occupy a tear-down site in a neighborhood of traditional houses, many older and original to the period and others built new to look old. RD: Your practice is largely commercial. What draws you to residential design? CS: I've been doing houses since my 20s. When I was in architecture school, I was passionate about doing houses, so I worked for someone who, old-school, taught me how to do the drawings. We designed houses in Rhode Island. Coastal Rhode Island was an affordable area back then. Then a friend's parents hired me to do a 1,500-square-foot house with a budget of $40,000. I did everything, including sizing the beams. An architect stamped the drawings—things are so litigious now, I always have a structural engineer's stamp. By the time I got to grad school, I had done five or six houses. Now houses in that same area can cost easily $2 million. Photos: Benjamin Cheung Clay Smook, AIA 11 VOL. 2, 2019 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VERBATIM

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