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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Chestnut Street Townhouse BOSTON ARCHITECT: David J. Hacin, FAIA, principal in charge; Jeremy Robertson, senior architectural designer, Hacin + Associates, Boston BUILDER: Joe Holland, The Holland Companies, Boston PROJECT SIZE: 5,104 square feet SITE SIZE: 1,746 square feet PHOTOGRAPHY: Bob O'Connor Photography KEY PRODUCTS BRICK CLADDING: BrickCraft 'Harvard' (modular) STONE BASE: Impala granite (flame finish) SILLS: Brownstone (lightly rocked finish) STONE PAVERS: Delgado granite (flame finish) METAL CLADDING: Red copper (flat and standing seams) WINDOWS/EXTERIOR DOORS: Hope's Landmark175 Series true divided lite (Rodin Patina satin finish) JULIET BALCONY RAILINGS: Custom modification of original decorative railings MOTORIZED SKYLIGHT HATCH: Rollamatic Roofs WALKABLE SKYLIGHTS: Atlantech Systems GAS FIREPLACES: Montigo (H-Series) WOOD FLOORING: Rift-sawn solid white oak (5" wide plank, custom stain) APPLIANCES: Sub-Zero, Wolf, Bosch KITCHEN/BATH STONE: Calacatta marble MASTER TUB: MTI 'Andrea' MASTER TUB FILLER: Lefroy Brooks Kafka Another Brick in the Wall It's not so cool these days to build with brick. Perhaps we can blame the building boom legacy of brick-front, vinyl-sided houses that blotted the suburban landscape in the last mil- lennium. Done well, however, brick is as ageless as that white marble, and just as durable. Here on Beacon Hill, it's nearly de rigueur. The previous house was clad in brick, so there was no question that its replacement should be clad in the same material. Until you build with brick, it's a shock to learn how many shades, textures, and other variations a single material can have—not unlike marble, granite, and wood. So, choosing the brick was David's first challenge on the building's exterior. "What I liked about what was there before was that the brick was a slightly different color from the adjacent build- ings," he explains. "It separated the façades and created a kind of picture frame for the building," he says. Filling in the picture frame is an assortment of period-evocative materials, such as copper, wrought iron, steel, glass, and a protective granite skirt at the sidewalk edge. Pulling from that set of playing pieces, articulation of the front façade was a game of inches. "What a lot of people don't like about new buildings is that they appear very thin," he explains. "You could use all of these materials, but if you treat them in a thin way, it doesn't fall into the character of the street. There are shadows cast by the dimensions of the brick—the demi-lunes carved out of the façade next door, for instance. "So we played up the details and pictured-framed all of the openings. We created soldier coursing. We added an atelier window—something we've seen around the hill—and flanked it with smaller-than-typical windows. This helps anchor the building into the morphology of the street. Then, we have this punctuation mark in the center of the building made three- dimensional by the copper planter. We pulled out the French balconies and the planter to make the façade more plastic. Instead of brick above the window with the planter, we cut into the façade with copper. And on the top story, we have the AB, AB rhythms of the columns. "The goal was to get as much dimension in 18 inches of depth as we could," he says. "We had to make sure our build- ing wasn't flat." The original building had arched windows, so you can be assured there was much discussion by the historic commission about whether to allow the architect's right-angle approach to fenestration. David is good humored about such arguments, and increasingly tolerant of bending modernist credo in favor of contextual modesty. "You hear a lot of architects say, 'oh, no, not another building in brick.' But you know, brick lets us do timeless projects," he explains. "We have fantastic old-world masons in Boston, and this building is going to be around a lot longer than I will. "I'm very concerned about quality," he adds. "And I want our legacy to be as good as anything else in the neighborhood. Over the years, I've become even more committed to projects that really are of their place and not generic." That's a good neighbor policy that goes a long way in places like Boston's Beacon Hill. History isn't just a matter of what was built in the past, it's what you lay as groundwork for the future. 43 VOL. 2, 2018 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM

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