I-Kanda Architects

I-Kanda Architects

Charlestown, MA



This project explores what happens when a space is shaped by the activities occurring within it, rather than vice versa.  

In the gut-renovation of this 2,400sf corner unit of a 1915 brick building, the first step was to remove all existing “rooms” - those bounded by walls creating separation between the main areas. This transformed the original dark, compartmentalized layout into one common space with unhindered interactions throughout.

Communal activities such as eating, sitting, entertaining and relaxing naturally gravitate toward the curved, south-facing bay windows of the home.  Responding to these activities, circular zones completing the curvature of the bays were inscribed into a dropped ceiling.  The ceiling itself was sloped to conceal all traces of the HVAC ductwork and new structural headers supporting the open layout.

For the largest bay window, located at the corner of the building, a curved partition was extended just far enough to define a circular TV room on one side, and to serve as a backdrop for an upright piano on the other.

In this newly opened floorplan, cooking too becomes a group affair, surrounding a central chimney which was previously a major hindrance in the original kitchen.  Suspended off of this brick centerpiece is a large island with an eroded carve-out to accommodate seating.

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Status: Built
Location: Brookline, MA, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Project Team: I. Kanda, S. Chun, S. Hien,
GC: Kairouz Construction
Millwork: Furniture Design Services
Structural: Structural Integrity
Photography: Matt Delphenich