eBay House

Southborough, Massachusetts
Location
  • Southborough, Massachusetts
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Year
  • 2006
  • Square Feet
  • 2500
  • This project page was created by community member Ruhl Walker Architects

    Steve and Amy Ratner assumed they would never be able to afford the modern house of their dreams, but one day they discovered a relatively affordable lot and decided to see if they could do the impossible. Many considered the heavily wooded lot ‘unbuildable’ because it was squeezed behind five suburban McMansions, it was dotted with granite outcroppings, and its irregular shape made it hard to imagine a conventional house; but the lot’s perceived ‘unbuildability’ made it affordable, and a small clearing at one end beckoned to Steve and Amy.

    Ruhl Walker Architect’s initial concept was for a long, low bar-building that would fit precisely into the narrow lot, with floating planar elements to define the entry, main living spaces, and 2nd floor bedrooms. In order to control costs, the overall massing was kept simple, circulation space was minimized, spaces were located so that they could have multiple functions as the family aged, finishes were kept very simple and conventional, and square footage was limited. The main living area is a light-filled double height space that helps the house feel much larger than its actual square footage. The owners ultimately achieved their initial budget target (half of the typical cost for custom construction in the area) through the careful design as well as by purchasing almost all finishes and fixtures (lighting, hardware, cabinetry, plumbing, flooring, tile, etc.) online through eBay. Besides the loft-like open living/dining/kitchen space, the 2,500 SF house also includes a studio that doubles as guest room, a master suite on main living level with fireplaced sitting room and full bath, 3 bedrooms and 1 bath upstairs, and 3 car garage including workshop with adjacent mudroom.

    photography: © Greg Premru Photography; Steve Ratner

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
    Posted By
    r
    Ruhl Walker Architects
    @ruhl_walker_architects
    Ruhl Walker Architects For over 20 years we have committed ourselves to creating architecture of all types and sizes for clients not only throughout New England but as far afield as Hawai’i and St. Croix in the USVI. Natural materials, expressive forms, and meticulous attention to light and views have been at the core of our practice and are manifest in our projects regardless of their context. Common to our design process is a commitment to clear and open communication, the careful management of resources, and a fundamental belief that innovative and coherent design is a joyous and essential component of the human experience. With each project we strive to demonstrate that inventive and elegant design is achievable, even within strict economic parameters, by respectfully listening and responding to the client’s needs and desires, thoroughly understanding the nature of materials and methods of construction, and carefully managing the design and construction processes. As part of our client-focused process we use a diverse set of design tools custom tailored to each client − from simple hand sketches to elaborate computer animations and rendered models − to ensure the spatial quality and experience of each project is thoroughly understood throughout the design process. Initiating a construction project can be a daunting prospect, but we pride ourselves on being there for our clients at every step of the way, from helping to identify goals at the beginning of the project, to turning over the keys at the end of construction. We look forward to bringing the joy and excitement of innovative and coherent modern design to your project.
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