Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to Boston

550 Beacon Street

Since we've been visiting New York, I felt we had to go back to Boston to get some of my backlog of posts cleared out of the archives (and believe you me, there are a lot planned, believe me...).

So here we have 330 Beacon Street in the Back Bay, Boston's Back Bay that is. Here in the middle of the posh 19th Century Subdivision (yes, for that is what it is, a subdivision, albeit, tres upscale) lurks an interloper, an interloper of a modernist ilk. It would be Hugh Stubbins' 330 Beacon of 1959. Not only is it discretely fitting itself in with it's red brick and bay windowed facade, but it also make no grand gestures, but simply fits in quietly.

Interestingly, the back facade (the rear faces both the Charles River and an expressway) is glazed and balconied. In fact, in a paraphrased quote, the orientation doesn't matter to Americans as much as the view (and as long as the physical plant can provide comfortable temperatures year round). What struck me when I visited this spring was something that I hadn't realized; that it is red brick and not white brick as I had thought from my trusty "Multi-Story Housing" book. In fact, I shall get more images from that and another book from the era it was built in. I had to cull the floor plans from elsewhere, however... (disclaimer, as a technically inept person and luddite, my computer, pc, wordprocesser or whatever you want to call it, and hence scanner, at home are not working, I am somewhat limited with and in my imaging abilities).

In fact, the building is also quite interesting in plan as well. It has a modified skip stop corridor configuration. Here is the corridor floor, which is every third floor.
There are a few north facing, single sided units, while the rest of the units are through units, with two exposures.
Some of the units are duplexes, and most are quite large. At the core floor, there are three cores with two units per core lobby.

A future post will feature more plans, vintage and interior shots...


Key Urban Housing of the Twentieth Century
Plans, Sections and Elevations
Hilary French
W.W. Norton & Co

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