Single Speed Design Big Dig House and Building


This TreeHugger lived in Boston for a bit of the massive Big Dig road construction project, and boy was it ugly. Metropolis tells us it’s not all bad, though: architectural firm Single Speed Design is reusing parts of dismantled I-93 interchange ramps to build the Big Dig House in Lexington, Massachusetts. Genius! No trees chopped down, lots of landfill space saved, and a house that’s strong enough to support, well, a semi truck. More than 600,000 pounds of steel and concrete are being reused for the house, which the architects say shares similarities with prefab construction but has the added benefit of customization. The idea initially came from Paul Pedini, a VP of the main Big Dig contractor, Modern Continental. The company also owns a site in Cambridge where they had planned a complex of apartments from more Big Dig leftovers. But the planning commission is grumping about the industrial design of the Big Dig Building—we can’t see why, as we happen to find it quite lovely. It won last year’s Next Generation Competition, too. Even the Big Dig House had some trouble in Six Moon Hill, a neighborhood filled with progressive Modernist houses by Gropius and company. SsD hopes the house (nearing completion) will serve as a prototype to demonstrate to city officials the value of recycling interstate pieces into buildings. How could they miss it? Using support girders to hold up your bedroom means you can legitimately call it the Freeway of Love! ::SINGLE speed DESIGN ::Boston Globe [by KK]


The proposed Big Dig Building.