Residential Design

VOL.2 2018

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

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They had originally bought the house presuming its terri- ble condition would permit them to tear it down and replace it with no issue. They hired Holland Companies, an esteemed design/build/development firm, to help guide them. Although the company has a licensed architect on staff and is known for its historic work, it soon became apparent that they were going to need an even deeper bench to get the project through the approval process. That's when the clients tapped David, who has a winning track record with historic commissions and award juries, to lead the effort. In fact, he had recent- ly finished another Beacon Hill project that was lauded as "thoughtful and sensitive." David recalls, "They had gone to the neighborhood and the historic commission with a generic design for a Beacon Hill townhouse and a faux carriage house addition to serve as the garage. That basically created a World War III situation. The plan was attacked from all sides." The original house was located in the "Flat," the zone off the hill and across Charles Street that once served the man- sions, says David. "The Flat was built on fill and had stables and servants' quarters, until it took off and then some very nice homes were built. So, there is a wide variety there—util- itarian buildings and then some nice houses. Some of those houses have garages because of carriage houses." The house was thought to have derived from a stable built in 1890 and converted to a house in the 1920s. It was, says David, "a very strange hodgepodge of things that had been built over time, and the whole thing was in a very derelict state." Once retained, David launched the endeavor with some hard truths. "The first thing I said to the clients was, 'You're never going to get this garage.'" The lack of a garage is less of an issue for many of David's urban clients these days, especial- ly when they live in such walkable neighborhoods as Beacon Hill—after all, the iconic bar from Cheers is just a stone's throw away. "Many people who live here go down from two cars to one. It's definitely a trend. I had clients who moved to Beacon Hill from Paris, in part because the area was so walk- able. They don't have a car." One of the clients on this project is also a developer, however, so although this was his primary residence, future Left to right: Height restrictions limited the amount of square footage for the townhouse, so David placed a portion of the family space under the rear courtyard. Skylights and a glass-enclosed stair bring natural light to those spaces. 34 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 2, 2018 CASE STUDY

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