Monday, September 27, 2010

Ask the Experts: What will our new homes look like?

Welcome to one of our semi-regular features called, Ask the Experts, with its wonderful banner drawn by fifth grader, Joshua C. Kids have lots of questions about the building of the New Old Colony. They are learning that the best way to learn is to...ask the experts. This time, one student wanted to know:

What will our new homes look like? How will they be different?

To get the answer, we asked Jay Szymanski, one of the architects who helped design the new buildings. (What do architects do? And how? Those are questions we’ll think about later!)

Here’s what Mr. Szymanski said…

The way they built Old Colony the first time makes it look very different from the houses around it. All those big brick walls set it apart from the rest of the neighborhood. Those walls also made everybody’s apartment look the same. It was harder for families to feel, “This is my home.” We wanted to change all that.

When we’re finished, there will be one building that’s six stories high and others only three stories. Some people will look out their windows and see Carson Beach; others will see Moakley Park. Some people will live on three floors with their living rooms and kitchens on one level and their bedrooms upstairs. Some homes will have their own patios, and most will have bushes and flowers in gardens outside their front doors.

All the homes will have more windows so they will feel much brighter. The systems inside them will work better too. You won’t have to open your windows in winter, for example, because the boiler puts out too much heat. You’ll be using less energy. And you’ll be using less water, too, every time you take a shower or run the dishwasher. They’ll take a while to build, but they will be worth it!