Savin Hill Residences

Location: 120 Savin Hill Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02125

Competion Date: 2017

Client: Savin Hill Partners

Size: 20,228 SF


The Savin Residences infill a vacant lot in an intimate corner of Dorchester, contributing to the vibrancy of this small neighborhood village. The project consists of 14 residential units and one retail space constructed next to and above the existing Savin Bar + Kitchen. The development is directly adjacent to the Savin Hill MBTA station and Southeast Expressway, a location that justified its omission of on-site parking, acting as a model for transit-oriented development.

The building mass is large for this area of Savin Hill, and so facades are broken into more familiar proportions by integrating exterior spaces for the residences. These moments of separation, where occupants come in close contact with the exterior material, are wrapped in a welcoming cedar siding. At the building entry cedar soffits and wall treatments draw toward the interior, where the raw brick exterior wall of the restaurant was left exposed, reminding of the unique conditions that characterize the site.

Construction of the project involved navigating a tight urban site; the client for the project was also the operator of the restaurant, and tasked the team with minimizing disruption of service. A new shaft was built around the existing kitchen exhaust, which was incrementally extended to the roof in tandem with the progress of construction. Direct abutment to the train tracks required special easements for glazed openings, and prompted the team to implement a number of acoustic solutions to decrease the effect of the busy transit corridor on the livability of the units.

Photography by Robert Umenhofer