384 Harvard Street

Brookline, MA

Client

Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly

Program

6-story building adjacent to historic synagogue with 62 apartments for the elderly, of which 58 are affordable, 1,816 SF ground floor retail / café and parking for 14 cars.

Sustainability

LEED Silver for Homes Certification anticipated

Challenge

A 100 year old synagogue abutted against an uninviting social hall in need of significant repair. The Congregation Kehillath Israel partnered with the Jewish Council for Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) and PCA to create a welcoming 40B housing complex for seniors that would improve accessibility and connections within the complex, and a more active ground floor presence within Brookline’s Coolidge Corner neighborhood.

Solution

The quiet, elegant design replaces the social hall with a new building that complements the rich architectural heritage of Brookline. The commercial edges of the retail level align with existing frontage, while the 4-story, sawtooth volumes of the residential building give proper prominence to the historic synagogue and an appropriate scale for the side street elevation.

The project creates 62 new affordable units for the elderly integrated with the existing synagogue through shared amenity spaces and access points between the buildings. A private rear garden can be enjoyed by both residents and the congregation alike.

The glass façade of the retail space, featuring wooden seating areas along the storefront edge and space programmed for a café, helps to create a sense of a village center. Outside, a small garden and plaza are integrated into the sidewalk design, providing a new amenity for the public.