There are so many engaging things about this four bed, three and a half bath circa 1900 house at 1350 Fell Street.
We’re going to neglect some of them in favor of fixating on the giant honking glass cube that goes right through the core of the building and made us audibly gasp. It's almost like someone gave MC Escher a T-square and told him to quit with the concept sketches and just draw up some blueprints already.
You've got to have your priorities sorted.
The redesign on this NoPa Victorian is the handiwork of John Maniscalco. Since the block is crowded with taller buildings and the house doesn’t get much sun, the obvious solution was to punch a giant hole through every floor and create a column of lattices and windows straight down to the ground so as to bathe the adjacent rooms in natural light. A little Gordian Knot-style problem solving.
The result is potentially dizzying. It also does some clever tricks with the floor plan, as the atrium divides what might be a shapeless open space on the ground floor into definable rooms, giving you a quick and easy path between them.
The three-story, 3,436 square foot home is also outfitted with bamboo floors, roof deck, library, floating stairs, an upstanding and respectable Victorian façade, and a surprising amount of space given the narrowness of the lot.
Not that any of that matters, because whenever this house sells it’s going to be because of the huge glass box.
The last time this place sold was in 2002 for the now incredulity-inspiring sum of $420,000 ($556,000 today). But that was before the remodel that began a few years later, which means that the old house was more like the egg that this one hatched out of.
You won’t pluck this bird for less than half a million anymore, of course. The present list price is almost $3.6 million. Even if you’re the type who doesn’t approve of renovating Victorian interiors, you’ve got to admit they at least broke the mold on this one.
- Cube House [JMA]
- 1350 Fell Street [Zillow]