Concord Riverwalk, West Concord, Mass.

At the end of a row of cottages, a fireplace and screened pavilion is used for family picnics and spontaneous happy hour

The cottages are wired for solar panels and designed to achieve net-zero energy when fitted with 400-kWh PVs.

Second stories are tucked under steeply pitched roofs to minimize the scale.

Alternate elevations and floor plans.

The site plan of 13 residences consists of two existing renovated houses on the street (one has two units); behind them are two cottages with multiple covered parking spaces beneath, and open parking. The remaining eight cottages are stepped down the south-facing slope toward a community garden and the river.

Roughly 50 percent of the site is preserved as open space, leaving room for amenities such as a community garden.

Low-maintenance features such as small yards facing a common green, red cedar shingles, fiber-cement cladding, and cellular PVC trim appeal to the targeted demographic.

Large windows open the homes to southern light.

Open-plan interiors live larger than their square footage.

Kitchens are positioned on the more opaque north side, and living spaces spill out to the south.

Two cottages incorporate garages accessed from the lower level.

The community is tucked back from the street, and a path meanders down to the river.

The pocket neighborhood is located ¾ mile from town and public transit.

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