Style: Town house-style condo
Year built: 2020
Square feet: 1,736
Baths: 2 full, 1 half
Fee: $400 a month
Taxes: $727 (2020)
Architect Colin Booth journeyed twice to Japan, and when he and his environmentally focused collaborative firm, Placetailor Inc., designed this five-unit high-efficiency condo building in Roxbury’s Fort Hill neighborhood, he incorporated what he saw into the master bath of the three-bedroom town house-style unit featured here.
“They are efficient and they are actually very conservative with their water,” Booth said of the Fort House units. “But they believe in their baths and the role that they play with the family and relieving stress at the end of the day.’’
In the master bath, one finds the shower and the tub next to each other behind a glass door in a space separate from the rest of the bathroom — an echo of a common Japanese design in which personal hygiene is done in two stages. Booth said he has found the bath design an excellent indoor splash zone for his children in his own condo unit. The surround and flooring of the shower/bath room are charcoal-colored porcelain tile. In the rest of the bathroom, the flooring is gray porcelain tile, and the vanity has one long sink with two faucets.
Speaking of precious water, the condo building sits on a Fort Avenue bend down the street from Highland Park’s famous Fort Hill Tower and directly across from where the city plans to create Paula Titus Park. The Gothic Revival-style tower once stored water from Lake Cochituate, according to the Boston Preservation Alliance. Both the tower and the condo building (clad in cedar shingles, a material that looks like charred wood called shou sugi ban fiber-cement board, ipe decking, and corten steel) can be seen from the Columbus Avenue thoroughfare.
Each condo has its own entrance. The one in this unit opens into a foyer with a floor clad in ceramic tile and then hardwood. The stairs and flooring are coated with an oil-based sealant that has a surprisingly matte finish.
There is a half bath with a black ceramic tile floor and a porcelain pedestal sink on this level, but the star is the master suite. The bedroom area offers two muntin-less windows, recessed lighting, and two closets. The flooring is that beautiful oak.
The other two bedrooms are on the lower level. They are similar in square footage, number of windows, and closet space. The home’s second full bath has a shower/tub combo with clear-glass doors and a subway tile surround. The flooring is a dark ceramic tile, and the single vanity is narrow with white cabinetry.
The upper floor is a classic open plan with ceilings of 9-plus feet, more of that genteel oak flooring, and three triple-pane high-efficiency windows, the lower half of which can be opened.
The kitchen hugs the wall to the left as one enters the space. The upper cabinets are white; the base ones are an ashy gray. Shiny white subway tile and quartz counters separate the two. The appliances are stainless steel, including the induction oven. The sink, in the much-coveted apron style, sits under a window. The kitchen also has recessed lighting.
The living and dining areas take up the expansive remainder of the space. And despite the size of the room, the heat comes from just one small electric baseboard, a testament to the 14-inch double layers of wall insulation and the energy-recovery ventilation system constantly circulating fresh air on every floor though ceiling vents smaller than the standard smoke alarm. “Placetailor’s Passivehouse design means that Fort House is essentially built like a Thermos — air-tight and insulated to the extreme,’’ according to the brochure. The building has zero carbon emissions.
Stairs lead to a private roof deck. In another nod to energy-efficiency, its door seals like a submarine hatch — as does the front door.
Each unit gets an assigned parking space.
BJ Ray of Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston is the listing agent.
See more photos of the home below:
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