North End / Downtown Small Infill Projects

dbartman

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I'm a Senior Planner for the City of Somerville. I've been doing some research into smaller scale infill buildings (ie. cottages, houses, triple deckers, duplexes, rowhouses, and small multi-plexes). I was hoping the rest of you might be interested in helping me build a thread of images that illustrate recent infill construction of these building types...examples from across the board (the good, the bad, and even the ugly). One of the objectives is to find examples of contemporary design that is at least harmonious with neighboring housing (obviously open to interpretation).

To start things off here's some pictures I've collected.

















Thanks in advance for the help.
 

Brad Plaid

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Well Bart you certainly have a good start on the ugly (and the dull.) The Harvard infill is the least offensive of the bunch but that isn't saying much. Were these developers all 80 year old grandmothers? Would seem so looking at this stuff. Sadly, the majority of today's new housing construction has toxic levels of quaintness and by no means do these even come close to the worst of what's out there.
 

Hutchison

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I'd imagine most of the development in south boston would fall into this category?
 

George_Apley

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The infill condo/apartment 3-story @ Summer and School outside Union Sq in Somerville looks pretty good, although it's only partially done. I can try to snap a picture of it sometime.

It is a shame that a retail space was lost by that redevelopment though. May have been vacant for a long time (I don't know, I'm fairly new to Union) but retail space will definitely be in high demand in Union a few years from now.
 

George_Apley

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Also; they are not new infill, but I've always loved the short strip of brick rowhouses on Summer opp Vinyl. Unusual for that part of Somerville, but I wish there were more of them. They look great. Love to see things like this built more often.

http://goo.gl/maps/9xkgE
 

AmericanFolkLegend

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Bartman, If you stroll through this thread you'll find a little bit of everything (the good, the bad, and the ugly).

Btw, I think some of the examples you posted look quite nice. Reasonable construction costs and a nod to their context count for something. Don't mind Brad Plaid - if it isn't some avant garde expression on Modernism, he doesn't want to see it.
 

blade_bltz

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^ LOL. That reminds me, what ever happened to that North End infill that allegedly started last year?

The infill condo/apartment 3-story @ Summer and School outside Union Sq in Somerville looks pretty good, although it's only partially done. I can try to snap a picture of it sometime.
Yes please!
 

DZH22

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Every building U/C in Boston for the past 3 years belongs in this category
 

Brad Plaid

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Btw, I think some of the examples you posted look quite nice. Reasonable construction costs and a nod to their context count for something. Don't mind Brad Plaid - if it isn't some avant garde expression on Modernism, he doesn't want to see it.
Avant garde is always welcome but background modernist is good too. A less "regressive" architect could use the same materials at the same cost and come up with a contextual design that is far more interesting than any of those examples.
 

czsz

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^ DC.

If you want good examples of infill in the US, look at Chicago and Philadelphia.
 

stellarfun

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^ DC.

If you want good examples of infill in the US, look at Chicago and Philadelphia.
If that's in DC, has to be in a fringe neighborhood where architectural review boards have no sway.

Recent examples of sway:
New commercial office building.
Mr. Krieger noted the multiple planes of the facade design and asked about the depth of the design. Mr. Goldstein [the architect] responded that the facades would have an eight–inch depth between the outer surfaces of the materials. He confirmed that the white highlights on the facades would be the lighter color of precast concrete rather than an additional projecting element.

Ms. Plater–Zyberk asked for clarification of the varying one– and two–story grouping of the facade elements, and the relationship of the contrasting bays on the north and east facades; Mr. Goldstein indicated the intended consistency of details throughout the design. Ms. Plater–Zyberk questioned the apparently inconsistent use of white precast highlights on the eastern end of the north facade, where the building plane steps back, in comparison to the similar accent on the single–plane west facade; Mr. Krieger agreed that the detailing is problematic. Ms. Plater–Zyberk suggested adding a vertical accent on the north to terminate the highlighted facade at the setback corner in a manner comparable to the west facade.
Private residence
RECOMMENDATION: No objection to concept design for new dormer windows and front passage metal gate, one–story addition with polygonal room at west side yard provided stair landing is not attached to chamfered corner, rectangular oriel and new stair on north wall, and new second–story windows no larger than existing windows as suggested in drawings dated 17 December 2012. File new submission of construction drawings, including details and dimensions, with permit application for review by the Commission.
Harvard University, existing building.
RECOMMENDATION: No objection to issuance of permit for new gray–green slate roof to match existing with random width coursing and loose laid vertical gaps, and lead coated copper flashing. Note: Any subsequent modifications to the exterior design made during DCRA technical review must be re–submitted to the Commission for approval prior to issuance of permit
 

itchy

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Sadly, the majority of today's new housing construction has toxic levels of quaintness and by no means do these even come close to the worst of what's out there.
"You'll have to excuse Brad - he's going through his 'avant garde' phase these days. And in 3 months he'll be 16 and we'll get him his learner's permit, won't we, Brad?"
 

jass

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Brooklyn? You can look at it as out of scale or look at it as creating a new, denser scale. More dense scale please.
DC.

Reminds me of that building on the north side of the common that also pops out like that.
 

briv

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That's what instantly sprang to my mind as well. It's not so crazy:


I really like this thread. Ablarc would've been all over it.
 

citylover94

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That's what instantly sprang to my mind as well. It's not so crazy:


I really like this thread. Ablarc would've been all over it.
I thought of that building too and then I looked closer and realized the one on Beacon Hill is about twice as tall as the new one in DC. The row houses around the one in DC are only 2 or 3 stories it looks like versus five or six story ones on Beacon Hill.
 

jass

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That's what instantly sprang to my mind as well. It's not so crazy:


I really like this thread. Ablarc would've been all over it.
Anyone ever been in there?

The floors look super short.

Is there an elevator?
 

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