New residence on the bay – Quincy, Massachusetts
The lot where this new residence was built is only a short distance away from the cottage on the Quincy Bay for which we had recently designed a different renovation project. The existing house on this property was much closer to the ocean and right next to the beach. After buying the property, the owners inquired with our renovated cottage clients about their newly redesigned residence. They were impressed by the cottage renovation, and sought a meeting with us. GDA was interviewed and hired to design the renovation for this house.
The existing residence had about 2,600 sq. ft. The initial conceptual approach was to reuse the existing structure, as we had done for the smaller cottage renovation down the street. After developing the initial designs and increasing the square footage with the addition of a level, due to the clients’ program requirements, we realized that building upon the existing structural framing for such an expansion would not be adequate and that the need to have a full height basement to accommodate the owner’s wood workshop could not be met.
With the clients’ approval and encouragement, a total different approach was taken by designing a completely new structure that would use only the existing foundation, while additionally integrating new portions of foundation to extend the original house footprint.
The result was a very spacious and tall structure that complied with the zoning limitations but afforded the owners with a very tall basement, which could become the sacrificial level in case of severe flooding. This basement, with its height above 10 feet, is used as a spacious two-car garage and wood workshop; additionally, the height allowed for the installation of mechanical equipment right under the basement ceiling and an electrical panel very high on the wall, to meet FEMA requirements.
The upper two levels, with a total square footage of 3,514 sq. ft., are engaged and disengaged with the basement level by means of a centrally located open staircase at the front of the house, similar in concept to some renaissance Italian palazzos. The first upper level contains a living room; dining room; kitchen; pantry; one bedroom; one full bath; and one half bath, plus storage space. A very open floor plan allows ample opportunities for entertainment and social gatherings. The uppermost level has the master bedroom with expansive views of the bay and of the Boston skyline; a master bathroom; two guest bedrooms; and another full bath. Large windows were used to take full advantage of the outstanding views.