Asked to design a modern cabin for a couple with passions for music and art, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, firm Anmahian Winton Architects created an ensemble of structures that is equal parts rustic and refined. The 16-acre property is nestled within the Berkshire Mountains in Red Rock, New York, near the Massachusetts border.

Two 100-foot-long board-formed concrete retaining walls cut through the steep slope to create a level plateau for the cantilevered main house, a smaller guesthouse over a garage that clings to the junction of the walls, and a long, aluminum-framed pergola for outdoor entertaining. A bluestone walkway runs by the main house to connect to the guesthouse and pergola framed by the retaining walls. Landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand helped determine which areas should be cleared to allow desirable species to flourish and breathe new life into the overgrown forest.

A hybrid steel-and-wood structure with a cast-in-place concrete base, the 4,500-square-foot main house has three levels that make up the private domain. A studio for the wife, an artisan, rests on grade, while the top floor includes a lone bedroom opposite a listening room for the husband, a music enthusiast. In between, the heavily glazed double-height space of the living room overlooks the treetop foliage surrounding the nearby meadow as the ground drops off beneath it.

Sheathed in vertical ribbons of Western red cedar delineated by factory powder-coated aluminum T-sections, the exteriors of both houses—built sequentially rather than simultaneously, in response to the recent recession—display a range of colors. The 3-foot-wide tongue-and-groove cedar boards feature three custom profiles that feature three different incised patterns, adding variety. “We treated the facades in a machinelike manner,” says the architecture firm’s cofounder Nick Winton, to contrast with the rusticity of the wood cladding. On the main house, milled aluminum also encloses a sunscreen perched over the entrance, and composes an embedded brise-soleil that runs along the roofline of the southern face, plus the railings of the terrace, which cantilevers 16 feet.

Interior details and furnishings are minimal. The bluestone of the outdoor walkway partially surfaces the floor of the living space; dark-stained oak covers the rest. Walls are painted stark white to better display the couple’s art collection, but also so that, according to Winton, “The exterior would sing by contrast.”

Gross square footage: 6,400 sf (includes both main house and guest house/garage)

Completion Date: September 2013



Anmahian Winton Architects
650 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02141
(617) 577-7400

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Nick Winton, AIA (Principal in Charge) and Alex Anmahian, AIA (Consulting Principal)
Makoto Abe, Project Architect
Sydney Thiel, LEED AP and Mazen Sakr, Design Team



Structural Engineer:
RSE Associates, Inc.
Richmond So, Sofya Auren
63 Pleasant Street, Suite 200, Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 926-9300

Civil Engineer:
Morris Associates P.L.L.C.
9 Elks Lane, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 454-3411



Reed Hilderbrand LLC Landscape Architecture
Douglas Reed, John Kett, EB Randall
130 Bishop Allen Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 923-2422


General contractor:

Lou Boxer Builder, Inc.
1 Day Farm Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266
(413) 232-7116



Jane Messinger
(857) 928-8213


CAD system;

Vectorworks Architect



Structural system

Concrete foundation with steel frame with metal deck concrete floor, Wood frame with TJI joists

Exterior rainscreen cladding

Red Cedar siding with Penofin Verde stain

Rheinzink Zinc tiles, Custom Aluminum profile and screen

Moisture Barrier:
#30 Asphalt Saturated Felt


Sarnafil PVC


Wood frame:
Duratherm Window Corporation, Marvin Windows and Doors





Wood doors:
Duratherm Window Corporation

Sliding doors:
Duratherm Window Corporation




Interior finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Amherst Wood Working

Floor and wall tile:
Bluestone, Quartered White Oak


Interior ambient lighting:
Color Kinetics, io Lighting, Artemide

Engineered Lighting Products, Lightolier, RSA, Tech Lighting

BK Lighting, Custom


Duravit, Dornbracht