For Sale/Rent

On the Market: A Cool Condo in a Brutalist Somerville School Building

The concrete complex near Davis Square incorporates an acre of green space, several live-work lofts, and an "urban museum."


Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

1060 Broadway #101, Somerville
Price: $1,225,000 square feet
Size: 1,441
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 2

City Hall may get the most attention for its Brutalist architecture, but 10 minutes outside of Davis Square is a boxy, concrete-loving building you should take a gander at. Construction has recently wrapped on the former Powder House Community School, now a forward-thinking framework populated by 48 condos and apartments, including live-work lofts and housing for seniors. Dubbed CALA—an acronym for community, architecture, landscape and art—the complex will eventually feature a taproom (a partnership with a Somerville brewery is underway), an “urban museum” featuring 70 different murals, various small businesses, and an acre of communal green space, including community gardens and an amphitheater. While some commercial spaces are still being populated, the residential units are move-in ready.

Though architect Sebastian Mariscal preserved the Brutalist heart of the building, he thankfully traded the windowless exterior walls for a facade interspersed with large sheets of glass. Inside unit #101, the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and both bedrooms grant a cool, contemporary look to the space. Much of the steel and concrete throughout the development dates back to its academic days, but the rich walnut floors, stainless appliances, and loft-style layouts are all new. A perk particularly important during quarantine? Private outdoor space graces each individual residence. For this unit, that’s a 91-square-foot balcony that overlooks a residential West Somerville street. Oh, and there’s a bonus office space where you can work from home as long as you please.

From the courtyard at the center of the building to the ample plantings all around the property, the interplay of gray, unpolished cement and green, lush vegetation makes for a community that feels like an urban oasis in the truest sense. It’s an artistic, eco-Brutalist daydream we can get behind.

For information, contact Lisa May, Anne Fantasia and Abby Clutz, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty, gibsonsothebysrealty.com.

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

Photo via Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty

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