Set in a typical suburban tract development just outside the historic center of Lexington, MA, this design attempts to provide an alternative model to the 1950’s split-level home it replaced. The design objective was to create a larger, more spacious home (3,000 SF) while also building a structure that would be sympathetic with the neighborhood. This aim is partially in response to the community’s increasing concern over the “mansionization” phenomenon, where smaller, older homes are replaced by large, oversized, and out of scale 5,000 SF + houses.
In addition, despite a relatively tight budget, the clients hoped to have a home that had a strong relationship to the landscape, was spacious, well lit, and also as met the everyday needs of a growing family.
Several design strategies were utilized to achieve these goals.
- First, the overall exterior massing of the house was designed to match the length of the neighboring structures, so as to be in scale with its neighbors. A wing to the rear of the house provided additional living space, but also helped define an exterior courtyard.
- Secondly, the interior plan was efficiently designed, so that there are no hallways, dead corners, or underutilized spaces. In addition, each space offers views of adjacent interior and exterior spaces, while privacy can still be maintained with the use of doors and screens.
- Third, while the exterior massing and its structure is extremely simple, visual interest is heightened by cladding the exterior in a variety of textures and surfaces that help differentiate the base, body, and roof-scape of the building.
- Fourth, the interior creates dynamic and flowing spaces that are broken up into “planes” of plaster, wood, or acid treated copper. These patterns extend to the ceiling as well, to create a harmonious environment.