The square, modern building housing two condos at the address looks nothing like most its neighbors. Its facade, in ash white, is minimalist and flat, save for a cascade of corners at the front, and recessed decks and protruding balconies in the rear. Clad in horizontal strips of man-made recycled boards that appear lined like ship lap, the building has an almost International feel, with its tall, vertical windows and copper downspouts. It looks more like a home you’d see in Tokyo than Brookline.
The developer request Haute Couture Kitchens to design 2 modern kitchens that will have inspiration from its surroundings. The clean lines of the cabinetry are handcrafted from book matched European white oak. The simple door style has a signature mat polyurethane Italian lacquer.
But what’s most striking about the house is not outside, it’s inside the condos, which each hold four bedrooms and five total bathrooms over roughly 2,800 square feet. Throughout the bright, open home at 70 White Place are wood screens at every staircase — from the partially finished basement to the third story — that pay tribute to the famed mid-century Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Letting light, air and sound pass through, the nearly wall-sized screens are made of dozens of reddish brown planks of oiled exotic wood called red Balau that stretch from floor to ceiling, giving warmth and texture to the white halls and rooms. “The open floor plan, floor to-ceiling height windows, porches and large balconies emphasize the idea that man and nature — or woman and nature — are inseparable,” said Charles H. Osborne, the home’s architect, who built the place with his wife, Antonia Bellalta, a landscape architect. The condo that the Herald toured this week at 70 White Place is now on the market for nearly $1.9 million. The price has yet to be set for No. 72. While the energy efficient home is slick and contemporary throughout, it lacks the sterile, institutional feel of some modern structures, thanks largely to the over-sized windows and the use of wood — mostly types of mahogany and oak — that extends from the floors, treads and screens to the balconies and decks. The place also feels
balanced, with no room coming off too extravagant, though there is a clear second-story master bedroom suite, and a fashionable first-floor kitchen.
But building modern in a town full of tradition, can be a daring task, said Osborne, during a phone interview while on business in Guatemala this week. “When you do something modern, a lot of people get worried about the change, they worry that something is not going to fit in,” he said. He and his wife, however, still live next door, in an 1840s Gothic Revival. “I am the owner, architect, developer, and the neighbor,” he said. The sale of the condo, which includes a carport and extra parking, is being handled by Eileen O’Boy, 617-731-4644, Ext. 370.