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Halvorson Tighe & Bond Studio

Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Fuse Condominium in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a residential community next to the Alewife Brook Reservation, a designated wetland in a very walkable neighborhood close to major highways and public transportation. Given the nature of the building environment, Unilock Eco-Priora™ permeable pavers were used for all ground level paved areas on the property. This allows for maximum infiltration while recharging the groundwater system from rainfall instead of relying solely on the stormwater sewer system. Contemporary and lively patterning was achieved using special order Unilock colors that set the canvas for this residence.

While ensuring the vitality of the surrounding wetland was a key component of this projects’ design, this multifamily development also prioritized the health and well-being of its residents by creating outdoor living space or a public backyard. ‘Residents in urban settings strive to find a balance between the excitement of the city, the vast social opportunities while trying to carve out a little serenity and relationship to nature, seasons, etc.’ said Robert Adams of Halvorson Design Partnership. The courtyards and outdoor living spaces in this residential community provide many of the desired qualities of life: sunshine, nature, social spaces, and more.

Two roof deck amenity areas provide a variety of scaled spaces to appeal to different users and uses. Unilock Skyline™ 24″ x 24″ architectural slabs and wood deck tiles were installed on pedestals to create a harmonious design for the pool, lounging, dining and conversational zones, which were established using pergola-type structures and furniture groupings. In the second roof amenity space, a large green area was created with patios and dining rooms, complete with grills, tables, and chairs with intimate spaces tucked into the edges of the large central lawn. In this area, the designer was able to extend the energetic paving design, using the same permeable pavers as found on the ground level. Both spaces borrow scenic vistas from the surrounding Alewife Reservation, utilizing a glass railing and using the same plant types found in the borrowed landscape to tie them together. Residents benefit from direct access to the Reservation and Minuteman trails, in addition to the 10,000 square feet of these amenity spaces.

Robert points out that ‘Creating open space that provides social interaction at a variety of scales and activities, open space that connects to the context/larger natural environment, and open spaces that somehow enhance the seasons/natural systems’ was essential on this project.