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Polaris House, Boston

Wednesday 25 Jul 2012

Reaching for the stars

Robert Augustine 
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A skylight in young boy's bedroom of Polaris House points up to the North Star 

The designer of this LEED certified, eco-modern house - Boston based architect, Bob Augustine - calls it POLARIS HOUSE as a skylight in the young son's bedroom points up to the North Star, Polaris; a fixed constant in the night sky.

The ecologically sensitive site is located across the street from Habitat, an Audubon wildlife sanctuary on a wooded hilltop near Belmont, Massachusetts. Solar collectors for water heating sit on the 'white' reflective membrane roof, and photovoltaics supplement electrical needs on this eco-conscious home. The house is LEED certified & received an Energy Star rating.

The outside of the house is a mixture of sustainably-harvested Western Red Cedar and zinc coated panels like the ones used on silos of old barns. The siding is applied over a rain screen to allow both sides of the plank to breath equally to avoid unequal expansion. These materials develop a patina and weather with grace, softening the edges of a modern aesthetic. Bamboo flooring & 'green' non-toxic paints & finishes are used throughout the house. A zinc-clad silo marks the entrance.

"At first we thought we would hate the metal on the exterior; now we love it. The way it (the soft patina) complements the outdoors - colour of the tree bark, the clouds & nature" explains the client.

A circular metal stair on site is painted industrial orange. It winds up to a 2nd floor library (one of the clients is an author), and a home office. A faceted skylight, above this entry, follows the path of the sun. Vivid colours and retro-fun lighting fixtures fill the house. "Its all about the kids" the client continues. The client's part time cook, helped design the ultra-modern kitchen, finished in an intense burnt orange lacquer. She thinks it looks like a Corvette.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Bob Augustine, Architect

More projects by this architect

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Cambridge House


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