gail ravgiala, editor
many a builder will tell you it is easier and less costly
to tear down an old house and start anew than to renovate,
let alone restore, a vintage home. True enough, but how do
you weigh the value of waking up in a house that connects the
past with the future? That is what a good renovation does. It
introduces fresh design and new technology while maintaining the spirit of the original architecture. If you can feel the
house sigh “thank you,” you’ve done it right. Live in it, and
you will hear the whispers of previous occupants deep in the
mouldings. Dream in it, and you will see a future steward continuing its legacy.
That is how the renovators in this issue of Design New
England approached their projects. As chef Jay Hajj put it,
he and his wife were looking for something that was “more
us,” something that spoke to their sense of history and place. Hajj and his family moved from a
newer house to a centuries-old farmhouse in Medfield, Massachusetts (Page 112). No one will
mistake it for a house museum, what with the state-of-the-art kitchen and vibrant colors on
walls and furnishings, but though renewed and revived, it retains the spirit of another time. On
our cover, a stone barn holds fast to its quintessential New England agrarian posture, though
its masterly rehab introduces a see-through gable and modern steel framing (Page 138). Just as
important as the building’s saving grace is the owner’s commitment to preserve the unspoiled
land where a 300-year-old farm continues to meet the sea.
suma hussein was a Northeastern University co-op student with the video
department at Boston Globe Media Partners, our parent company, when she
climbed to the rooftop garden at Fenway Park to make a video about the
surprising agriculture going on there. “One thing I love about filming,” she says,
“is that it brings me to places I didn’t know existed. In this case, Fenway Farms. I
was mesmerized by the contrast of urban and rural. We were picking fresh
strawberries while I heard faint sounds of the Green Line.” selections, page 39.
jessica delaney is a design and architecture photographer who lives with her
husband and their three daughters in Milton, Massachusetts. Her work has been
featured in Design New England, The Boston Globe, Elle Decor, HGTV Magazine,
Cottages and Bungalows, and Canada’s The Globe and Mail newspaper.
Photographing our Design Showdown competition winners “was such a joy,” she
says. “It was an honor to be around such young, raw talent. I know we’ll be seeing
more from this group! ” perfect pitch, page 58.
from the editor
nic lehoux is a Canadian photographer who has shot for some of the most
prominent architects in the world. His work is a unique blend of tight
architectural composition and a natural flow of people within the spaces. That is
evident in his images of a renovated Rhode Island barn designed by the
award-winning Pennsylvania firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Although Lehoux is
intrigued by abandoned buildings, he was pleased to see that this one was so
beautifully re-purposed. the family farm, page 138.
william morgan, Design New England’s contributing editor for architecture,
has loved Rhode Island ever since he summered in Little Compton when he was 8
years old. “It is one of the few unspoiled coastal places where working farms come
right down to the sea,” he says, “and it has been treasured and protected.” the
family farm, page 138. From their home in Providence, Morgan and his wife,
Carolyn, traveled to Rockland, Maine, to cover the new building housing the
Center for Maine Contemporary Art. places, page 92.