The near complete tear down and reconstruction of this traditional Cambridge house was intended to satisfy the whimsy and individuality of the family while maintaining a fairly staid, street-side façade. Budget and schedule were less of a priority than craft and process, but we understood the need to deliver a well-managed methodology from start to finish.

There were several intriguing elements required from the start: sound-proofing between floors, as the house is “awake” most hours of the day and night; building the house around a central, “flying staircase” that rises from basement to top floor atrium; digging out the basement to accommodate a two-car garage; and honoring and facilitating Orthodox Jewish ritual throughout, including door fixtures, appliances, lighting system, kitchen use, and more.

Craft and detail highlights included rebuilding exterior details so that new elements looked as if they had always been there: a living room cantilever, kitchen addition, all new windows and siding, new slate roof, new master suite balcony, and front entry.


  • Hickox Williams Architects
  • Andra Birkerts Design
  • Jean Brooks Landscape Design
  • Kochman Reidt and Haigh Cabinetmakers
  • R.F. McManus Cabinetmakers
  • Bridgewater Sheetmetal
  • Kirkland and Shaw Plumbing and Heating
  • Milestone Co., Inc.
  • Clark Painting
  • Keyes North Atlantic
  • Photographs by Peter Vanderwarker

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