Concrete House

Lincoln, MA

Client: Confidential Private Client

Scope: 8,621 sf new house featuring architectural concrete

We were given the challenge of designing a house overlooking a pond on a site constrained by wetlands. Our client had an interest in permanence and solidity, and a desire to work with architectural concrete. Additionally, the client desired interiors that would showcase their substantial art collection. Our design approach began with the footprint of an L-shaped courtyard house, which, in part, was determined by the limited buildable area. The house is sited on a natural rise in the land, allowing the first floor elevation to rise 15 ft above the surface of the pond. This height provides dynamic views through the trees that separate the house from the pond. Our design concept ultimately leverages the capabilities of architectural concrete to explore its structural capacity on this unique site – resulting in a design with bold cantilevers and expanses of glass creating transparency between interior and exterior environments.

The interior palette is comprised of rift sawn oak with 16-inch wide oak plank flooring, oak casework and millwork, a stainless steel and glass main staircase, and minimalist concrete details throughout.  On the upper level the plan accommodates a master bedroom suite, three children’s bedrooms and a family room; the first floor includes a guest bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room, office and family room; the ground level has a recreational room a mudroom, and office/studio. The site plan employs native plantings and includes a small resistance pool in the courtyard.

Concrete will be employed for all structural and insulation elements for the house. This modulates the fluctuation of interior temperature creating both an energy-efficient envelope and enough concrete mass to keep temperatures moderate and consistent throughout a 24-hour day. The employment of triple-glazed windows and a triple glazed aluminum curtain wall further increases the energy efficiency of the project, while allowing the house to have abundant glass that permeates natural light and affords spectacular view in all directions of both Todd Pond and the neighboring woodlands.

Materials: concrete; aluminum; rift sawn oak; stainless steel; glass.


MEP Engineer: KEYES North Atlantic
Structural Engineer: RSE Associates, Inc.
Civil Engineer: GPR
Concrete Consultant: Steve Zimmerman
Radon Consultant: Trinidad Engineering
Cost Estimator: VJ Associates