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TRULL RESIDENCE | compact sustainable home

  • PROJECT: 1,600 SF Single-Family residence, renovation + addition in Somerville, MA
  • ARCHITECT: Christina Marsh + Kristen Giannattasio; Atelier et Alia
  • STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Tripi Engineering Services, LLC
  • MEP ENGINEER: Air Water Energy Engineers, Inc

In purchasing this original worker cottage, the homeowners were captivated by its rich history, urban setting and the rare presence of large old-growth trees in the backyard. The renovation and expansion project harmoniously weaves together their lifestyle, affinity for nature, love for cooking, and the need for a home office.  The result is an efficient, resource-conscious design that encapsulates their vision.

floor plan

The flow through the first floor and addition was conceptualized as a direct extension of the site topography that one navigates through a series of cascading levels; starting at the entry stair one enters up to the level of the main house, and back down through the kitchen, dining room and out to the back garden.  A green roof crowns the single-story addition, not only providing garden views from the second floor but also contributing to reduced greenhouse emissions, enhanced insulation, controlled solar heat gain, and improved stormwater management.

Within the compact 1,600 square foot layout, every space is thoughtfully curated to serve multiple purposes.  For instance, the guestroom on the first floor is equipped with a sizeable sliding door that facilitates integration with the rest of the living areas, transforming into a yoga studio or sitting area between guest visits.  The second floor embraces a similar versatility, with primary suite and office doors featuring oversized frameless pocket doors, allowing the options for a unified suite or separate private spaces.

Compact living aligns seamlessly with the homeowners’ commitment to sustainable design, a core tenet of the project.  The design choices prioritize the home’s long-term viability.  Energy-efficient building systems and an advanced exterior envelope reduce energy consumption, while the material selection emphasizes natural elements and durability.  The house is further elevated by solar energy integration, passive stack effect ventilation, and a green roof, collectively minimizing its carbon footprint and enhancing its overall environmental impact.

Do not hesitate to contact me to start your design project journey!