Mystic Lake House

Arlington, Massachusetts
Location
  • Arlington, Massachusetts
  • Year
  • 2012
  • This project page was created by community member Ruhl Walker Architects

    Our clients found the perfect location for their dream house on the shores of Mystic Lake, facing a heavily wooded park on the opposite shore and only a short drive from Cambridge and Boston. Alas, there was an existing house on the property, and the house was not actually for sale. However, the stars must have been aligned and their passion prevailed after it turned out that the current owner was actually contemplating a move to Washington, DC. With so few affordable undeveloped lots in suburban Boston, many of our clients are turning to “tear-down’s”, especially given that the more affordable houses are typically in such poor condition. One benefit of a tear-down on a beautiful waterfront site is that permitting can be easier than with undeveloped land. In this case, zoning and conservation commission hurdles were relatively simple given that there was already a house on the site and we had no intention of building the new house any closer to the lake. In fact we were able to bring the house slightly closer to the street than before, with the added benefit that the lake side yard was even larger than before.

    Because the house is built into a steeply sloping hill, the house is two relatively compact floors high on the street side and three full stories on the lake side, with an above-ground basement level. Since the house had neighbors close to both sides we designed a central courtyard / roof deck open to the lake and adjacent to all of the main living spaces, with the lower level playroom below. A two-story entry foyer and stair hall is centrally located and creates separate living and working zones on the main floor and separate parent and children bedroom zones above. The parents’ bedroom has its own roof deck overlooking the lake and courtyard below, and its shower has a large window facing the lake. A home office sits below the parents’ roof deck and doubles as a sewing room; as our clients or their children age, this room is designed to be able to easily change function, becoming a ground floor bedroom, or a media room.

    The house is heated and cooled with a geothermal system that benefits from the adjacent lake. The flat roof was designed to accommodate a future solar photovoltaic array and solar hot water array, with available conduits linking directly through the house to the basement mechanical room.

    Landscape Architect: Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design General Contractor: Berkshire Wilton Partners Photography © Matthew Cunningham and Ilya Tsymbal

    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.
    Everybody loves feedback. Be the first to add a comment.
    The author will be notified whenever new comments are added.