In Cambridge, a Plywood-Clad Home With a Twist Asks $850K

In Cambridge, a Plywood-Clad Home With a Twist Asks $850K

By Kathryn M.
Uni Architecture rotated XS House’s three volumes to allow for triangular skylights.

If you’re in the market for a new home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, consider how this recently listed condo stacks up against other prospects. For starters, it’s unlike any other property around, and the floor plan manages to squeeze four levels into 1,200 square feet. But the twisting shape is more than just for show: A total of eight triangular skylights in each rotated corner work to flood the interior with natural light.

Now up for sale in North Cambridge, Massachusetts, this recently listed residence is made of three stacked and rotated 16-feet by 22-foot volumes.

Inside, a central plywood staircase connects each of the four levels, including a finished basement. The ground floor, shown here, contains the kitchen and dining area. 

Built in 2006, the home was designed by Uni Architecture, a multidisciplinary firm founded by architects Chaewon Kim and Beat Schenk. The duo—who also acted as the developers and designed three other structures on the same double lot—named this particular unit the XS House, as it’s the smallest of the four homes.

In our 2009 interview, Kim and Schenk describe their challenges finding an affordable home in Cambridge and experience renovating a gable-roofed, 19th-century home that sit nexts door to the XS House.

A row of stainless steel cabinetry spans one side of the kitchen. Sunlight enters from triangular skylights in each corner, as well as a glass door.

The middle level features one of two bedrooms—this one divided by sliding wood doors.

Although a free-standing residence, the structure is technically classified as a condo given the land use situation. Monthly fees are reportedly under $100 a month to cover some insurance and snow removal. Keep scrolling to see more of the property, currently listed for $849,900.

The bedroom features wood-clad walls and floors, along with two skylights and a large window.

A bathroom is located to the left of the staircase, while a home office is located on the right.

A closer look at the bathroom area, which features another sliding door to conceal the bathtub and toilet. A skylight is positioned above the vanity.

The office nook offers a window overlooking the surrounding neighborhood.

A private bedroom suite occupies the upper-most level.

Clad in marble, the en-suite bathroom is separated by a translucent glass partition.

Downstairs, the finished basement is currently staged as the living room.

The property is within walking distance to the Red Line, which reaches downtown Boston in approximately 30 minutes. 

19 Clifton Street, Unit 19, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is currently listed for $849,900 by Ed Greable of Keller Williams Realty.

Project Credits:

Architecture: Uni, Chaewon Kim and Beat Schenk

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