Beantown Dream

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photos by:
July 1, 2009

In this tightly packed Northeast city where developers pounce first on any available lot, two young architects found a rare ground-up opportunity.

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  Ample windows cut into the north elevation of the Valentine House, behind which live the architects. The openings reveal lofty double-height spaces inside. The ground-floor garage often serves as a shop for architectural model-making.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Ample windows cut into the north elevation of the Valentine House, behind which live the architects. The openings reveal lofty double-height spaces inside. The ground-floor garage often serves as a shop for architectural model-making.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Jinhee Park and John Hong, in a doorway that opens to the building’s shared roof deck. Behind them is the upstairs lounge of their neighbors, adorned with Eames chairs, Kartell stools, and a woodstove from Rais Wittus.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Jinhee Park and John Hong, in a doorway that opens to the building’s shared roof deck. Behind them is the upstairs lounge of their neighbors, adorned with Eames chairs, Kartell stools, and a woodstove from Rais Wittus.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Andy Hong tunes out with his hi-fi system in the living area of his ground floor. The big room contains a kitchen, a washer-dryer, and ample work surfaces. “Since I travel a lot,” he says, “I really look forward to hanging out in the big room, catching up with my hobbies and doing laundry.”  Photo by: Roger DaviesCourtesy of: Justin Reid
    Andy Hong tunes out with his hi-fi system in the living area of his ground floor. The big room contains a kitchen, a washer-dryer, and ample work surfaces. “Since I travel a lot,” he says, “I really look forward to hanging out in the big room, catching up with my hobbies and doing laundry.”

    Photo by: Roger Davies

    Courtesy of: Justin Reid

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  To save money and time, the architects used similar designs for the bathrooms 
in both their and Andy’s apartment: Philippe Starck toilets, fixtures from New York’s AF Supply, and custom cabinets painted with watertight auto-body paint.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    To save money and time, the architects used similar designs for the bathrooms in both their and Andy’s apartment: Philippe Starck toilets, fixtures from New York’s AF Supply, and custom cabinets painted with watertight auto-body paint.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Music is a big part of life for the Hong brothers: Andy was a DJ for an MIT radio station, where he met Thos Niles, a punk rocker. John plays the electric guitar, but these days he doesn’t have enough time to practice.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Music is a big part of life for the Hong brothers: Andy was a DJ for an MIT radio station, where he met Thos Niles, a punk rocker. John plays the electric guitar, but these days he doesn’t have enough time to practice.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Between the kitchen and main entrance is a large mudroom where Andy keeps "a bike for every season, including two one-speeds." The slate floor, with a drain and a hose in the wall, facilitates mud removal.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Between the kitchen and main entrance is a large mudroom where Andy keeps "a bike for every season, including two one-speeds." The slate floor, with a drain and a hose in the wall, facilitates mud removal.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Knowing that Andy’s multi-tasking begets clutter, John provided him with plenty of cabinets. By making very particular requests of The Home Depot—asking for irregular-sized doors and painting them electric green—John defied the generic look of big-box cabinetry.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Knowing that Andy’s multi-tasking begets clutter, John provided him with plenty of cabinets. By making very particular requests of The Home Depot—asking for irregular-sized doors and painting them electric green—John defied the generic look of big-box cabinetry.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Avid cooks, Jinhee and John spend part of every day around their custom-built kitchen 
island, surrounded by Compasso d’Oro barstools. An edamame plant on their patio occasionally provides leaves for Korean dishes.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Avid cooks, Jinhee and John spend part of every day around their custom-built kitchen island, surrounded by Compasso d’Oro barstools. An edamame plant on their patio occasionally provides leaves for Korean dishes.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Their bathroom has walls of watertight Plexiglas. “They were so easy to set up,” John says, “the contractors installed all six bathrooms in one day.”  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Their bathroom has walls of watertight Plexiglas. “They were so easy to set up,” John says, “the contractors installed all six bathrooms in one day.”

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  The building’s south elevation. The lofty double-height balcony, with windows leading into his study, shows how the architects’ break from the triple-decker’s usual horizontality created dramatic results.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    The building’s south elevation. The lofty double-height balcony, with windows leading into his study, shows how the architects’ break from the triple-decker’s usual horizontality created dramatic results.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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  Jinhee and John, looking east from the dual-story roof deck. The door behind Jinhee leads to the top floor of Andy Hong’s unit, where a bar fridge contains wine ready for parties. In the background is the boxy form of a traditional triple-decker.  Photo by: Roger Davies
    Jinhee and John, looking east from the dual-story roof deck. The door behind Jinhee leads to the top floor of Andy Hong’s unit, where a bar fridge contains wine ready for parties. In the background is the boxy form of a traditional triple-decker.

    Photo by: Roger Davies

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