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Historic Resources Committee

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



Creating Emergency Housing for Cambridge Families, Reconstructing Historic Character

During the late 19th century, a stately two-family home was erected at 859 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. The handsome building was subsequently converted into offices and, unfortunately, stripped of its period detail. Things began to look up again when the City of Cambridge purchased the property and engaged HMFH Architects to restore the dilapidated building and convert it into emergency housing for up to 30 occupants. As part of this conversion, the building systems and exterior envelope were completely rebuilt to meet the City’s new guidelines for net-zero construction, and the architects worked with the Historical Commission to recreate the original exterior detailing and materials as closely as possible. HMFH Architect Pete Rust AIA will present this award-winning project and explain how the design balances programmatic and sustainability goals within a distinctive historic context.

Pete Rust AIA has 15 years of experience working on a range of public and private renovation and new construction projects. In addition to his architectural background, Pete studied cabinet making at the New England School of Architectural Woodworking. He retains a strong appreciation for how materials and components are best utilized and combined -- and an interest in the craft of good design -- which inform his focus on the detailing and coordination of his projects. Passionate about high-performance design, Pete serves on the sustainability committee at HMFH Architects.

For those who qualify, 1.5 LU/HSWs are available.

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