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Abbey Road is a community of 18 individually-crafted homes for active adults (55 years and older) in the quintessential New England town of Sherborn, Massachusetts. The homes are grouped around a common center green to promote a close-knit sense of community and neighborliness. This “pocket neighborhood” is an exciting new concept in residential neighborhood design, rarely found in New England.

Abbey Road homes feature open and spacious layouts, first floor master suites, custom cabinetry with granite countertops, top-of-the line appliances, and front and rear porches with views of the common gardens and surrounding wooded areas. Most units have two car garages.

Located on North Main Street in the historic center of Sherborn, Abbey Road offers the charm of a classic New England town with the walkability and convenience of in-town living. Sherborn’s reputation as one of the state’s most desirable communities is built upon its serene natural setting, top-ranked school system, and convenient access to Boston and other towns in the Metro-West area.

Each home will be Energy Star Rated and LEED for Homes certified. These features result in up to 30% lower energy use than a standard home, reducing energy costs and environmental impact, with optimal indoor air quality.

 

WHAT IS A POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD?

A pocket neighborhood is a type of planned community that consists of a grouping of homes with functional front porches that overlook a central common area, typically a landscaped courtyard. The design intentionally “cultivates healthy neighborly connections, while preserving personal privacy.”   [footnote: Ross Chapin, one of the first land planners to recognize the need for cultivating community in neighborhoods, and a pioneer in designing pocket neighborhoods]

Typical features of a pocket neighborhood include:

  • Modest home sizes (typically 2,200 square feet) for convenience and so that no single home towers over the others.

  • Exquisitely landscaped common areas that provide a focus for the community, and encourage interaction amongst neighbors.

  • Commons building or structure to provide a gathering space for neighbors, and also available to host larger gatherings.

  • The car is not the focus of a pocket neighborhood. Garages are located behind the house, or even separate from the homes.

 

WHAT MAKES A POCKET NEIGHBORHOOD DIFFERENT?

Most neighborhood developments across America are collections of individual houses dominated by front-facing garages and driveways. Residents tend to pull into garages and disappear into houses, so there is little real connection among neighbors. Moreover, the garage often occupies a central space on the front of the house, obscuring light and the view of the neighborhood.

A pocket neighborhood is just the opposite. Walkways and shared spaces connect homes—and residents—to each other, fostering a sense of community. Garages and parking are intentionally off to the side and in the back of homes so that residents walk through the commons and interact informally. By sharing outdoor space residents take part in its care and oversight, thereby enhancing a sense of security, identity and community. 

 

PRIVATE SPACES

While a pocket neighborhood encourages community, it also offers peace and privacy. Privacy is built in layers surrounding each home, starting from the openness of a well-manicured common space, and moving inwards to individual front porches, shaded and surrounded by a garden of perennial flowers and trees. The homes at Abbey Road have large windows bringing light and views of the common area, but these are carefully placed to ensure privacy and views of the surrounding woods. Generously-sized covered rear decks and brick patios offer spaces for relaxation and intimate gatherings.

 

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DESIGN

The architecture of Abbey Road is inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century, which revived traditional artistic craftsmanship and was inspired by nature, incorporating themes of simplicity, honesty, and function.

Typical features include generous front porches with square tapered wood columns, low pitched roof lines, use of natural materials like red cedar shingles and mahogany front doors, and earthy colors and warm tones. The homes at Abbey Road incorporate natural materials providing an organic feel, with spacious flowing rooms flooded with natural light. The emphasis on simplicity is balanced by a high level of detail for functionality and comfort.

The site and existing buildings, rich in history, informed the architecture of the newly constructed homes. The Dowse Memorial Building, built in 1914 in the Jacobean Style, originally housed Sherborn's Library. The house sitting beside the Dowse Library, originally named the Coolidge House (also built in 1914), is a remarkable example of Edwardian Architecture, reminiscent of the work of English architect Sir Edwin Luytens.

 

 

additional reading

Inspired by the bungalow courts of Pasadena, pocket neighborhoods have been gaining popularity along the west coast. With a fresh approach and emphasis on community, pocket neighborhoods are now catching the attention of planners, developers, town officials and homeowners in New England and along the East Cost.

To read more about pocket neighborhoods, click on the articles below:

 

AARP

The Boston Globe

USA Today

Forbes

US News & Money