Harold & Ronald Brown Family House

Brookline, MA

Client

2Life Communities

Program

6-story building adjacent to historic synagogue with 62 apartments for seniors, of which 57 are income restricted 1,085 SF ground floor retail / café and parking for 14 cars, totaling 65,000 SF.

Sustainability

Enterprise Green Certification anticipated

Challenge

Congregation Kehillath Israel (KI) undertook community planning and visioning for their existing campus, and as a result of the process, formulated a goal to redevelop the site of an existing obsolete social hall abutting their 100 year old synagogue. 2Life and PCA were commissioned to create a welcoming affordable community for seniors that would establish a multi-generational village center addressing the issues of social isolation and housing affordability. The new building would create an accessible connection to the KI campus and a more active ground floor presence to knit together the retail area along Harvard Street between Coolidge Corner and JFK Crossing.

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 57 new affordable units for seniors integrated with the existing synagogue through shared amenity spaces and access points between the buildings. A private rear courtyard 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 pocket park and plaza is integrated into the sidewalk design, providing a new amenity for the public.