Enjoy beauty and space in this Seaport loft-style duplex
The herculean task that lay before Bruner/Cott Architects was to design a contemporary condominium that fit squarely into its neighborhood of early 1900s brick warehouse buildings without looking like a steely leviathan seeking signature status on the skyline.
To do so, the Boston-based firm tapped into the industrial and architectural roots of South Boston’s Seaport District to reinvent them for today’s demands for open-concept loft living. This gave 25 Channel Center St. the “large masonry openings and metal and brick detailing” and “large industrial window sashes, and open planning with double-height spaces in duplexes” their website mentions, plus a lost art now considered too costly: cast-in-place concrete columns and beams.
These details not only form fluid, roomy living and storage spaces in the duplex Unit 202 at 25 Channel Center, but also imbue them with factory-warehouse finesse, aided by other tokens of Seaport’s industrial heritage: granite kitchen counters, stainless steel appliances, designer lighting modeled on the barren tungsten bulb, pipe-framed shelves and drawers, and exposed ceiling pipes with sprinklers.
As you enter the 1,838-square-foot unit, a ceiling pipe directs your eye from the entry hallway into the dining and living spaces, inviting you to partake of their light and city view from the soaring two-story window.
But if you want to eat first, the open kitchenette is straight ahead. Its wall counter neatly aligns a Viking four-burner gas cooktop and oven, a wide sink with retractable spray faucet, a Bosch dishwasher and shelves for a microwave and other kitchen necessities. Facing this are an oversized Monogram refrigerator with a freezer drawer and a peninsular counter looking into the dining and living spaces - great for a buffet.
For a broader buffet counter or a highboy, sideboard or credenza in your dining room, a wide alcove is handy there. The dining-table light fixture of four large tungsten bulbs shows what an industrial relic can do to make your meals special occasions.
Similarly, the living-room chandelier of tungsten bulbs, projecting from multidirectional chrome rods like a sparkler in space, supplements the window-wall light with fireworks drama.
More drama can be enjoyed by the new remote-controlled electric fireplace that lights up faux logs like embers and projects an image of flames onto the fireback.
The fireplace is set in a contemporary mantel of streaky gray ceramic tiles, crowned with a stainless steel ledge and grounded with a gray marble ledge for your objets-d’art.
Too much light? The towering window is equipped with a remote-controlled shade. Also softening the light is a new Big Chill light gray wall treatment by Ana Donohue Interiors of Melrose.
Complementing this neutrality is an exposed concrete column and ceiling beam serving three functions: honoring the area’s industrial past, separating the living and dining spaces and helping to fireproof the unit.
Yes, fireproofing is an advantage of exposing those structural and utilitarian elements traditional home builders strain to cover up. This especially holds true for the bare-bones exposure of the entry hallway’s ceiling pipe, which allows its sprinklers to do their work more directly. The pipe’s fire protection continues leftward toward a coat closet and a powder room with white subway-tiled floor (another nod to industry), a pedestal sink and storage/utility closet.
The open floating stairway from the living room, industrially trimmed with a mesh balustrade while complementing the hardwood floor with compatible treads and rail, ascends to the bedroom/study level.
The study loft overlooks the living room from a glass-paneled railing, gleaning generous sun from the window to illuminate work at home. It picks up the top of the living room’s concrete column that cantilevered shelves flank.
Through a French door is the primary bedroom suite. The bedroom stretches beyond its king-size bed area to include an alcove for a workstation or a couch, a walk-in closet with shelves and drawers set in frameworks of aluminum-pipe columns and coatracks. There’s also a private balcony with a breathtaking South Boston view and the industrial chic of a metal-fence railing and a concrete floor.
The bedroom draws more light from the living room through a window with an applied frosted surface for translucence and privacy.
The en suite bath was recently renovated with a long, streaky quartz vanity containing twin sinks and a matching second counter with wastebasket space below. There’s also a deluxe glassed-in shower with two oversized shower heads and stacked horizontal tiles in a variegated palette of browns, beiges and grays.
A designer hand-held shower head and a linen closet are handy as well.
Down the hall, a double French door introduces a second bedroom suite. The bedroom’s large, versatile space and iridescent silvery-gray floor tiles make it suitable as a game room, media room or crafts room as well. Its amenities range widely as well: a pipe-framed unit of shelves and drawers, a laundry/utility/storage closet with stacked Kenmore dryer and Frigidaire washer and an overgenerous walk-in closet. Also included is a full bath with a granite vanity and subway-tiled tub/shower and floor. This suite also has an alternate means of egress.
Channel Center Street is a quiet, attractively-planted private way maintained through its homeowners’ associations, but this does not preclude its accessibility to exciting urban amenities.
Nearby are a public plaza with stone tablets describing the district’s industrial and residential history, a large park ideal for dog walking and running, art exhibits at Artists for Humanity, South Boston’s primary shopping and dining district, and walking distance to two MBTA Red Line subway stations offering transportation to downtown Boston and Cambridge.
Offered at $1,399,000, Residence 202 at 25 Channel Center creates luxury from scratch by going back to the basics of industry.
For more information, contact Jim Souza of Donnelly + Co. at 617-947-3083 (mobile), 617-982-0160 (office), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be an open house from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 19.
Address: 25 Channel Center, Residence 202, Fort Point Channel/Seaport
BR/BA: Two bedrooms + study, two full bathrooms, one half bath
Size: 1,838 square feet
Housing type: Condominium
Price: $1.49 million
Condo fee: $929/month, includes street maintenance
Taxes: $11,303.75 (Tax Year 2021), including residential exemption
Parking: One deeded garage parking space
Total number of units: 76
Year built: 2004, renovated 2016 and 2021
Features: High ceilings, designer light fixtures, central heating and air conditioning, granite open kitchen with gas cooking and stainless appliances, two-story living room with soaring wall of windows and electric fireplace, loft overlook onto living room from study, primary bedroom suite with abundant closet storage and redesigned en suite spa bath with double vanity and dual-head glass-enclosed shower, private balcony, second bedroom with en suite bath and huge storage closet, in-unit laundry.
Building amenities: Elevators, 24-hour concierge, professional on-site management.
Close by: Houses of worship, schools, shopping and dining, art galleries, public parks, public transit, major highway access, Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 10-minute walks to the South Boston Waterfront, Carson Beach, Marine Park and Castle Island.
Contact: Jim Souza, Donnelly + Co.
Phone: 617-947-3083 (mobile), 617-982-0160 (office)
Open house: Saturday, June 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.