Cambridge House By Anmahian Winton Architects

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Anne Francis
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Designed by Anmahian Winton Architects and completed in 2013, this modern home in Cambridge, USA flaunts 6,300 square feet of space and was built for a family of four. Whether we’re talking about its overall size or its impact on the environment, the residence boasts a small footprint due to its high efficiency mechanical systems, photovoltaic panels and reliable materials.


The first volume is clad in an Ipe hardwood rain screen, while the second features zinc-lined openings that create much needed shade. The main open space includes white plaster surfaces that contrast nicely with the central walnut-lined staircase, which leads the way to a terrace and a loft located on the third floor. The bedrooms and study areas were implemented on the second floor, while the master bedroom benefits from the best views due to its elevated positioning at the upper level.

From the architect:

This new single-family home is minimal in form and material, a modernist counterpoint to the colonial fabric of its Cambridge neighborhood. The building’s form masks outdoor living spaces from the bustling street and organizes rooms around specific views and direct access to the protected, back yard landscape.  Daylight washes through interior spaces that are organized around a figural stair connecting the first floor open living space, second floor bedrooms and studies, and a third floor master bedroom loft.

The building gives shape to a conventional domestic program for a family of four and emphasizes a small footprint, both in terms of size and environmental impact:  it employs high efficiency mechanical systems, a high performance envelope, photovoltaic solar panels, and long life-cycle materials.

The home’s envelope and interior aesthetic are restrained and focus on detail.  Its primary volume is clad in a hardwood rainscreen of Ipe, with secondary, zinc-lined openings that create entry, shade, shelter, and openings to the interior. Its open plan is defined by luminous white plaster surfaces punctuated by a central walnut-lined stair, weaving from the first floor through to the third floor loft and terrace.

Architect In Charge: Nick Winton, AIA
Consulting Principal: Alex Anmahian, AIA
Project Architect: Makoto Abe
Designer: Natalie Wong
Area: 6300.0 ft2
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jane Messinger

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Structural Engineers: RSE Associates, Inc
Civil Engineers: Columbia Design Group, LLC
Mechanical Engineers: Zero Energy Design
Landscape: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design, LLC
Audio Visual, Technology: System 7
General Contractor: Sea-Dar Construction

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