This project is a response to a client’s desire to build a new family weekend house on a densely wooded sloping site with stunning views overlooking a beautiful pond and the Berkshire Hills beyond. The house is approximately 5,000 sq. ft. and conceived as a folded volumetric “sheet” enclosure that wraps and folds into itself to form and define the major interior spaces, and ties the house with the landscape.
The entry is approached through a gravel courtyard with stone steps leading to glass entry doors. The exterior wood siding continues inside the entry vestibule to blur the distinction between the interior and exterior. The primary interior space is used for living, dining and a two-story tall kitchen, which acts as the metaphorical heart of the house. A screen porch extends off the dining area to look out over the pond and surrounding woods. The second floor spaces include a master bedroom suite with private deck areas off the master bedroom and bathroom, and four children’s bedrooms with shared bathrooms adjacent to their bedrooms.
The ground floor space is used principally as a playroom for billiards and as a media room, but also includes a kitchenette, sauna, wine cellar and mechanical spaces tucked into the back of the structure against the sloping landscape. A large terrace is located off the ground floor, which acts as an “outdoor room” for children’s activities with planned access to a future dock for boating, swimming and family gatherings. The house has also been designed for the addition of a future elevator. Additionally, the house is designed to be economical both in construction and maintenance.
Green features include a closed loop geothermal heating and cooling system, solar collectors to supplement the grid system, closed-cell sprayed foam high R-value insulation, the use of sustainable wood products, and selecting materials where possible that utilize some form of previously recycled material in the production process as a way of reducing energy cost and emissions. As much of the site as possible has been left undisturbed and restored to natural growth for the preservation of the surrounding wetlands and wild flowers.
Project: Berkshire Pond House
Architect: David Jay Weiner, Architects
Builder: Berkshire Landmark Builders
Photographer: ©Tony Morgan