North End Townhouse

North End Townhouse

Boston, MA

In a radical departure from a traditional townhouse renovation, this project created an exciting new life for a brick townhouse adjacent to the Old North Church in Boston’s historic North End neighborhood for a young family. The dramatic design addresses delicate issues of urban sensitivity to the historical church and its gardens as well as the vertical integration of loft spaces for the penetration of natural light and the display of artwork.

Three of the four facades were restored to their original condition, while the south side was sliced open to allow for modern floor to ceiling windows, providing an unparalleled view of the iconic spire from the living spaces. This new insertion divides the house into front and back sections, and is crowned by a balcony that spans both halves of the house, clad in lead-coated copper. With these modifications, the traditional backyard has been shifted to the side of the property.

The ground floor has a bedroom and a living space. Traveling up the centrally-located spiral staircase, one arrives at the second level containing a kitchen and dining room. The third floor is divided in two by the open space and is connected by a bridge which affords views down to the second floor spaces. The top floor houses a large master bedroom suite with a balcony. More stairs lead to the roof deck. Custom built-in cabinetry throughout the project maximizes the use of space. The plan for their basement included removing an existing stair to the basement from the back of the house, and replace it with a new one at the entry landing. This took advantage of under-used space on the first floor for to create a new guest suite and create a more welcoming and formal entry.

The stairs that lead down to the newly created mudroom and playroom are decorated with a custom designed glass screen that provides separation between the two spaces while allowing daylight to filter through. At the first floor, a new sitting area, bedroom and bath were created for guests or future family expansion.

Team

Architect: LDa Architecture & Interiors

Builder: FH Perry Builder

Photographer: Peter Vanderwarker Photography

Publications

Boston Globe Magazine, March 10, 2013 "A Mudroom Marvel"

Boston Globe Convention Supplement, July 26, 2004

Architecture Boston Magazine, 2000 "Year in Review"

Awards

2013 Remodeling Magazine, Basement Remodeling Merit Award Winner

2000 BSA/AIA New York Housing Design, Award for Design Excellence

2000 AIA New England, Honor Awards - Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture

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