Rudolph House

Cambridge, Massachusetts
Location
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • This mid-century modern house was transformed from a municipal garage into a private house in the late 1950’s by renowned modernist architect Paul Rudolph. At project start the house was in pristine condition, virtually untouched since it won a Record Houses award in 1960. We were tasked with bringing the house up to current energy efficiency standards and with reorganizing the house to accommodate the new owners’ more contemporary needs, while also respecting the noteworthy original design.

    Our work included the redesign of the exterior walls and glazing to include a new wall of 10’ high triple-paneled sliding doors and windows on the main façade. These doors open the home to the adjacent courtyard and provide excellent natural ventilation. The other three exterior walls, which are largely below grade, and the roof received insulation in excess of that which code requires. All new energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, including heat recovery ventilation, was installed to bring the home up to modern standards. The result was much greater energy efficiency and thermal comfort for the family.

    Organizationally, the central living space was preserved while the side wings were reorganized to suit the specific needs of the family. The kitchen was relocated from an enclosed side room to one side wall of the main central living space, freeing up space for modernized bathrooms, bedrooms, and studies. To house the book collection of the studious family, a leaky fiberglass roof above an existing “winter garden” was replaced with an insulated glazing system to allow year-round library use and improved natural day lighting. Structural improvements were required throughout to bring the house up to current building standards. The renovation resulted in a comfortable modern home that pays great homage its mid-century past.

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    Modern home with living room. Photo  of Rudolph House
    Modern home with ceiling lighting, sectional, chair, end tables, coffee tables, table, and bedroom. Photo 2 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with end tables, chair, coffee tables, table, sectional, bed, bookcase, night stands, office, wall lighting, and light hardwood floor. Photo 3 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with end tables, bed, chair, coffee tables, sectional, table, bookcase, night stands, wall lighting, light hardwood floor, study, shelves, desk, and bath room. Photo 4 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with chair, end tables, table, sectional, coffee tables, bed, bookcase, night stands, wall lighting, study, shelves, desk, porcelain tile floor, quartzite counter, wall mount sink, drop in tub, subway tile wall, and kitchen. Photo 5 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with chair, end tables, bed, bookcase, coffee tables, table, sectional, night stands, wall lighting, study, shelves, desk, quartzite counter, drop in tub, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, pendant lighting, wall oven, and refrigerator. Photo 6 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with chair, bed, end tables, coffee tables, table, sectional, bookcase, night stands, study, quartzite counter, drop in tub, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, pendant lighting, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, and storage. Photo 7 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, quartzite counter, sectional, night stands, bed, study, drop in tub, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, pendant lighting, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, chair, and office. Photo 8 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, quartzite counter, sectional, bed, night stands, study, drop in tub, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, pendant lighting, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, library, desk, and chair. Photo 9 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, quartzite counter, sectional, bed, night stands, study, drop in tub, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, pendant lighting, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, library, desk, and light hardwood floor. Photo 10 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, drop in tub, bed, night stands, study, quartzite counter, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, library, desk, wood burning fireplace, sofa, and end tables. Photo 11 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, drop in tub, bed, study, night stands, quartzite counter, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, library, desk, sofa, end tables, and coffee tables. Photo 12 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, drop in tub, bed, night stands, study, quartzite counter, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, library, desk, sofa, end tables, and coffee tables. Photo 13 of Rudolph House
    Modern home with table, drop in tub, bed, night stands, study, quartzite counter, subway tile wall, white cabinet, terrazzo floor, wall oven, refrigerator, undermount sink, stools, storage, floor lighting, library, desk, sofa, end tables, and coffee tables. Photo 14 of Rudolph House