81 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421, USA
For Sale, Pending Sale
Set back from the road up a gentle slope on almost an acre, this CUSTOM post-and-beam Techbuilt has all the characteristics that attract fans of midcentury-modern homes. Walls of glass fill the open concept floor plan with cheerful natural light, while soaring ceilings provide a sense of volume and architectural drama. The grand living room is centered around a fireplace and forms the nucleus of the home, with a master bedroom wing on one side and a dining room and kitchen on the other. This upper floor opens to a full width deck overlooking the park-like front yard. The house is reversed on the lot, with the front door actually accessed by a set of steps from the driveway in the rear side of the lot. There is more rolling lawn and gardens on this side, leading up to the Six Moon Hill neighborhood. Relatively little effort will be required to update the home to make it a stylish show-stopper.
The house was designed for the Strauch family and has remained in the family ever since. Karl Strauch was a renowned Harvard physicist and there are few living rooms in the world that have hosted more Nobel Prize winners for cocktail parties. Karl’s wife Maria was an artist and some of her work hang on the walls. They had two sons. Hans is the founder of an international architecture firm, HDS Architecture and Chairman of the Board at Lesley University. Their other son Roger is chairman of The Roda Group, a venture development company, based in Berkeley, California. His firm provides entrepreneurs the environment, resources, and guidance to launch and grow their high technology businesses.
With four bedrooms and nearly 3000 square feet, the house offers a blank slate for buyers who wish to make it their own, perhaps even home to a future Nobel Prize winner!
Techbuilt was founded by Carl Koch. You can read our page dedicated to all things Koch here.
As noted, this is a custom Techbuilt house designed for the current family selling. But Techbuilt was mostly sold in prefabricated kits. As noted Research in part via Lexington Historic Survey, which notes:
The Techbuilt house was based on a consistent four foot wide module for all major building components such as wall, floor, and roof panels. The pieces were delivered by truck and could be erected in a few days. The Techbuilt homes, which include both one and two-story models, are characterized by simplicity of shape, pitched roofs and overhanging eaves and the extensive use of glass, especially on the wide glazed gabled ends. The exteriors of the houses are typically clad in vertical cedar siding with panels between the stories. The Techbuilt houses incorporated various structural innovations including the use of modular prefabricated stressed skin panels rather than conventional framing and the use of steel posts and wooden beams for support rather than load bearing walls. In keeping with Techbuilt philosophy, the houses are typically set into a natural and wooded landscape. In some cases the owners also purchased carports or garages.
The Techbuilt House was featured in various national publications including Better Homes and Gardens and Parents Magazine and was awarded the American Institute of Architects “Best Development House” Award. By the end of 1957, Techbuilt homes had been constructed in thirty-two states.
If you’re dyed-in-the-wool, DON’T COME! If you think early Georgian or Late Cape Cod is just the berries, forget we came in. But if you and your kith enjoy plenty of room and light, believe a house should be designed to live in — not merely to exist in, like the idea of getting maximum space per buck — then let’s talk. We’d like to explain and show you our concept of a new type of lighthearted living that we deeply believe in — the Techbuilt House.
More Techbuilt memories. Click to enlarge and view as slideshow.