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This Plastic-Clad House Dates Back to the 1800s

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There are renovations and then there are, you know, renovations. What Turin-based architects Alessandro Armando and Manfredo di Robilant did to this Cambridge home over the course of a revamp that lasted from 2010 to 2013 definitely belongs in the latter camp. Covering the exterior of the home with translucent plastic panels and completely overhauling the interior, the pair left few reminders of the home's nineteenth century roots aside from the mahogany beams still running through the inside.

Aside from making the 5,300-square-foot home stand out in its sedate residential setting, the translucent paneling apparently does wonders for the energy bill. The space between the plastic cladding and the insulating panels behind it keeps in the warm air during the winter and lets cool air circulate in the summer. That, combined with a sunlight-reflecting metal roof, gives what was already a pretty daring aesthetic overhaul a bit of energy efficient oomph.

Unlike Japan's similarly plastic-clad house of fog, the translucent exterior of this one doesn't leave anything less to the imagination of neighbors. That task was left to a pair of sliding aluminum shutters. With a huge wall of bookcases in the great room and a large skylight overhead, it looks like a great place to crack open a campus novel.

· House with Big Window [Domus via Gizmodo]
· Translucent Walls Turn This Abode Into a House of Fog [Curbed National]
· All Cambridge coverage [Curbed National]
· All renovations coverage [Curbed National]