North End Modern

Boston, MA

Architect / Zephyr Architects

Zephyr Architects prides itself on creating modern designs that speak to the context of each of our projects. In the City of Boston, this often means inserting new buildings between structures that have stood for a hundred years or more, built with very different sensibilities and technologies than what we use today. We see this situation as a challenge and as an opportunity – to do something slightly out of the ordinary, and to showcase the flexibility of modern construction.
The North End has one of the richest historical fabrics in the city, with almost all of the buildings there dating from the mid-1800s. For our contribution to this neighborhood, we adopted the masonry cladding and mansard-roofed massing of the surrounding buildings but gave a very modern voice to the windows and entrances on the project. The first floor plays off the arched windows and cast iron storefronts typical in the area by providing a delicate arcade of metal-clad openings with projecting surrounds. This language is carried upward into the regular rhythm of windows above, whose broad planes of glass and metal fins create a play of shadows across the brick as the sun moves across the fa├žade. Playful metal mesh elements and extended arches complete the composition.