156 Lancaster

Perched on the slope of one of the seven hills in Brookline Massachusetts, this house presents a modest façade to the street, and a more open face to the view in the southwest.
This house replaced a 60’s ranch house and is flanked on either side by similar ranches. It mimics their roof line and scale and maintains the continuity of gardens in the back. For us, the view, the sunlight, and the connection through to the garden were central of the project.
The public spaces of the house, the kitchen, dining room and living room, are all on the main floor, along with a study that opens to the living room, (which could also become a ground floor bedroom.) The master bedroom is on the upper floor, and there are two bedrooms on the lower floor which opens to the garden.
The walls of the house are 2×8 construction with an R value of 34. A heat pump, (air to water system,) provides radiant heating and cooling. The house has a 15 KW solar array on the topmost roof, and all appliances, including the hybrid water heater are electric, (with the exception of the gas fireplace.) The HERS index is -2, (the house makes all the energy it needs,) and for most of the winter we have not needed to heat the upper floor. In the summer, because of its location, the house gets a steady breeze, and the openness of the plan allows for the house to be easily cooled by opening windows on opposite sides.