John Ellement – $869,900Style Modern, contemporary condoYear built 2006Bedrooms 2Baths 2 fullWater/sewer PublicCondo fee $95 a monthTaxes $4,618 (2020)
It looks like a 3-D puzzle nearing completion, this truly contemporary home in North Cambridge. Instead of floors rigidly stacked like a layered cake, this home has three rotated boxes of roughly 16 by 22 feet, a design by architects Beat Schenk and Chaewon Kim. The exterior (and many of the spaces inside) are clad in marine plywood, and narrow rectangular windows ensure privacy.
The detached condo, known as “X-Small,’’ is one of four contemporary homes the architects built on two lots, and it was featured on HGTV and in Dwell magazine. A boardwalk leads to the front door, which opens into the first of four levels (there is a basement), and the design features that echo throughout the home are on display: a mix of white and plywood walls, plywood or Carrara marble floors, skylights, and crisp angles.
There are no windows on the first floor, but custom skylights in all four corners shower natural light into the space and a glass door off the kitchen opens to the crushed-stone yard. This floor plan hosts a dining area directly inside the front door, and on the other side of the stairs sits the kitchen, where the brushed stainless-steel cabinets, appliances, and sink hug the outer wall. The dining area and kitchen have white marble flooring and recessed lighting and are 148 square feet and 155 square feet, respectively. The kitchen boasts granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, including a gas stove. The upper cabinets offer opaque sliding doors.
A stairwell clad in marine plywood bisects the space. The second level features an office, a full bathroom, and the home’s second bedroom. Big sliding doors afford access to the latter and when closed make the room seem hidden. The 135-square-foot bedroom, now outfitted with twin beds, has a window, skylights, and a marine plywood floor.
Across the way, the full bath offers a tub/shower combination with a Carrara marble surround and floor, marine plywood walls, and a single vanity.
An office with a window, marine plywood walls, and built-in bookcases completes this level.
The stairwell continues to the third floor, which is devoted to the 322-square-foot owner suite. A poster bed currently occupies prime bed real estate near one of the room’s two windows and underneath a skylight. On the opposite wall is the stacked washer/dryer. The flooring is plywood. An angled frosted-glass window separates the bedroom area from an en-suite bath with a sink, a Carrara marble floor, and a doorless shower with a Carrara marble surround and a rain shower head. The bathroom does not have a vanity.
The living room, 257 square feet, occupies the home’s lowest level. Small windows and recessed lighting brighten the space. The flooring is Carrara marble, and the walls are a corresponding white.
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