Loft 23, Cambridge, MA

Loft 23, Cambridge, MA

Architect
DiMella Shaffer
Project Year
2005
Category
Apartments
Robert Benson Photography

"Bring me something I haven't seen before"

DiMella Shaffer as Architects

To answer this challenge from our client, DiMella Shaffer looked at Loft23 through the lens of 21st-century urban living. We leveraged decades of residential design experience to create a building clad in copper and glass that is visually arresting yet practical, representing the client’s vision of an entirely new residential product that respects the university and city context. The building houses 51 loft-style units for lease with high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and flexible open floor plans; glass ends provide dramatic views of the surrounding parkland.


This project for the final building site in University Park, offered the opportunity to take a step back and look at the development as a whole. The original guidelines had adapted well to changing economic times and shifting programs. However, as we entered phase four, all parties, including the planning board, realized that the red brick had become too dominant, necessitating more variation in the brick color and the addition of glass and metal as façade composition elements. These adjustments enlivened parts of the park, but the main space remained predominately a red brick wall surrounding a green space. Our team's solution was to compliment the brick using a completely different material: pre-patinated copper. With this choice the building has a dialogue with each of the other buildings and also recalls historic buildings in adjacent Central Square. From the standpoint of sustainability, the copper is 95% recycled, complimenting the building's vegetated roof and reduced interior finishes.


Ultimately, the building expresses itself as unabashedly modern with full glass facades overlooking two urban green spaces and copper-clad walls serving as a curtain that reduces the views into existing residential and hotel buildings on the other two sides. Walls are shingled in a running bond pattern and follow the façade guidelines for important streets such as Sidney without being literal. This building takes the approach of utter simplicity in plan and form to achieve a richness of materials that will age well and provide the client with a durable and easy to maintain exterior.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand
25 May 2022 News
Immersive Golong Wormhole visually represents the transformative nature of a beauty and wellness brand

In Hangzhou, China, the Golong Wormhole by PINES ARCH is an experimental space for events and exhibi... More

Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape
25 May 2022 News
Villa RS by JUMA Architects employs charred wooden cladding and horizontally oriented planes to blend with the Belgian landscape

In the Flemish Ardennses, Villa RS by JUMA Architects is situated in a picturesque landscape with ch... More

Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context
24 May 2022 News
Kindergarten for Llubi expresses in built form two converging patterns from its landscape context

In the small Mallorca town of Llubi, this new kindergarten by Aixopluc Architects is located on a pe... More

25 best architecture firms in Mexico City
23 May 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Mexico City

Mexico City is home to a number of outstanding, epoch-defining architectural firms. Its contemporary... More

New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden
22 May 2022 News
New Singer Museum wing by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten offers a balanced experience of art, architecture and garden

In Tilburg, NL, the new Nardinc wing of the Singer Museum by Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten houses th... More

Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople
22 May 2022 News
Al Naseej Factory: A woven architecture that celebrates local craftspeople

Located in Bani Jamrah, Bahrain, the Al Naseej Factory by Leopold Banchini is a textile weaving faci... More

Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years
20 May 2022 News
Merk X revitalizes Amsterdam Zoo natural history building that was closed for 75 years

The neoclassical building was built between 1850 and 1855 to a design by Johannes van Maurik as a na... More

82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects
20 May 2022 News
82,000 unique, hand-crafted tiles clad the new extension to Museum Arnhem by Benthem Crouwel Architects

In addition to restoring the original Museum Arnhem building, complete with characteristic historic... More