Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Chestnut Place in Brookline, Massachusetts by BUTZ + KLUG architecture
October 6th, 2016 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: BUTZ + KLUG architecture
This house, a significant part of Brookline’s 19th century residential history, had suffered through decades of piecemeal renovations, deferred maintenance, structural compromise and ultimately foundation collapse. This condition presented the opportunity to reorganize the original somewhat conventional central hall plan to take advantage of the complex siting; straddling a one story ledge while perched on a rise. The piano nobile, or living floor of the house is organized around a courtyard with a new South facing loggia (an extension of the central hall) wrapping around the kitchen and connecting the house to the adjacent indoor pool building. Additionally, the loggia terminates on the opposite (North) side of the building creating a ‘back door’. A new interior stair opens up the interior to a level of clarity both in terms of light and organization and terminates at the top floor in a retractable skylight visible from the entry level three stories below. A very high level of envelope efficiency and radiant flooring keep the building warm in the winter with minimal energy, but equally important, the building is detailed to facilitate living in a way that allows you to take advantage of the natural breezes that cross the site while amplifying the age old tactic of cross ventilation.
The skylight at the top of the stair, when open, naturally ventilates the entire house. The loggia, not only creates a wonderful place to dine but shields the kitchen from the sun in the Summer while allowing it in in the Winter. Additionally, the columns of the loggia contain retractable screens, allowing the building’s interior/exterior threshold to expand or contract depending on the season.
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