The owner of this
historic 1700’s farmhouse on stylish Beacon Hill in Boston needed to add
2,500 square feet to his existing home. The new renovation required
space necessary for a new laundry room, wine storage room, private
office, full bathroom, and large recreational area for the owner’s
children. In this area of Boston, space is really at a premium, so the
decision was made to…go underground, and put the addition under the
attached garden area.
Serious consideration had to be given to the concerns of the Beacon Hill
Architectural Commission, who required that the addition NOT be visible
from the street. That wasn’t a problem because the addition wasn’t
visible from anywhere above ground. After excavating over 2,500 square
feet of the garden, a reinforced concrete bunker with openings for six
skylights was poured. A landscape architect was on hand to ensure that
the six skylights were attractively integrated into the new garden
design. High ceilings, natural light and carefully placed "down-lights"
brighten up the underground addition creating a spacious feeling.
Some of the other challenges were connecting to the wood and brick city
sewer system…and working just 60 feet above the MBTA subway system which
runs directly under the property.