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.
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
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Lou Boxer Builder, Inc.
Concrete foundation with steel frame with metal deck concrete floor, Wood frame with TJI joists
Exterior rainscreen cladding
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Floor and wall tile:
Interior ambient lighting: