Standing Out by Fitting In

44 Burbank Street
Boston, Massachusetts

An open lot in the heart of Boston’s Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood presented the SMMA design team with a unique and exciting challenge. The client, Catamount Management, wanted to stretch the existing structure to accommodate more condominiums on the small site; however, it was critical to design the building so that it looked and, more importantly, felt like it fit within the context of smaller brick and stone townhouses. The solution was thoughtful massing, responsive to the adjacent buildings on each side; a setback of the stories above; and a materials palette that feels at home in the neighborhood.

While the massing and materials respond carefully to their surroundings, the tall glass openings, glazed corners, and modern stone profiles clearly define 44 Burbank Street as a building of its time. 

Uncommon Luxury

A subtle glass canopy welcomes visitors from the street into a lounge-style lobby. Upstairs, residents enjoy a wide variety of unit types—from studios and one-bedrooms, to duplexes with internal stairs, to three-bedroom/three-bathroom floor-through spaces. Most of the master bedrooms throughout the building offer residents the benefit of a private balcony, and several units afford the luxury of private terraces that look out onto Burbank Street and the city skyline beyond.

Living Room and private terrace at 44 Burbank
SMMA LEED certification design for its Symphony Court

Prioritizing Energy Efficiency

Sustainable design for urban living projects presents unique challenges and opportunities. SMMA aimed for LEED certification for its Symphony Court development project, a pair of adjoining “sister” buildings at Boston’s 41 Westland Avenue and 44 Burbank Street. We prioritized energy efficiency in our design, optimizing thermal envelope performance, installing ENERGY STAR equipment in units, and utilizing lighting and heating/cooling systems verified by energy modeling.  

A focus on the indoor environment was also an important feature of our design, both for thermal comfort and air quality. The SMMA project team sought to provide occupants with a clean, healthy living space, with access to natural ventilation.

Building Performance

Perhaps most impressively, 41 Westland Avenue pursued a program of measurement and verification related to building energy use, meaning that the project implemented a long-term verification plan to ensure that it would be operating as designed for at least one year after initial occupation. An increasing number of building owners are beginning to appreciate the value of actual building performance, and in designing the Symphony Court development, the SMMA team was able to demonstrate this value to the building owners.

Symphony Court development model

Did You Know?

44 Burbank adjoins with a sister building—Symphony Court—also designed by SMMA. We aimed for LEED certification for both developments. A focus on the indoor environment was an important feature of our design, both for thermal comfort and air quality. The SMMA project team sought to provide occupants with a clean, healthy living space, with access to natural ventilation.

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