House in Cambridge by Armando and di Robilant

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Armando and di Robilant updated an historic Cambridge home with a layered facade and oversize windows. (Paolo Rosselli)

Armando and di Robilant updated an historic Cambridge home with a layered facade and oversize windows. (Paolo Rosselli)

A translucent polycarbonate skin transforms an early-19th century Massachusetts home.

On a well-traveled street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, about halfway between Harvard University and MIT, sits a house not like its neighbors. Its simple massing and pitched roof indicate old bones. But its skin is all 21st century. The house, recently renovated by Alessandro Armando and Manfredo di Robilant, is clad in translucent polycarbonate panels that reveal the structural and insulating layers beneath. For the architects, the project was an experiment in applying a cladding system designed for large-scale projects to a single-family home. “We thought this could be a possible test-bed for something more standard, something that could at least be thought of as a standard way of renovating and improving a typical American detached house,” said di Robilant. “This house is very small, but we’re now trying to fit it toward possible standardization of this approach.” Read More

Chicago Group Celebrates Bungalow Belt’s 100th Anniversary

Midwest, Preservation
Thursday, January 2, 2014
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5300 S block of Sawyer mid to late 1920s bungalows (Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr)

5300 S block of Sawyer mid to late 1920s bungalows (Eric Allix Rogers via Flickr)

Among Chicago’s architectural peculiarities, none is perhaps better known than its bungalow belt—the swath of elongated, single-family homes that ring the city’s outer neighborhoods and suburbs. Read More

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