Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Small House in Massachusetts by Maryann Thompson Architects
November 30th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Maryann Thompson Architects
Located in Western Massachusetts, the site is a 10-acre sliver of land that runs down an eastern mountain slope of large red oak and birch trees. To preserve and inhabit this forested landscape, the house nestles into its wooded setting with views through the long trunks of downslope trees. The program requirements were to create a simple, modest-sized, 750sf two-bedroom house with the feel of a one-room cabin.
The design provides a combined kitchen, dining and living room with to two sleeping nooks that open to the main area and the screen porch beyond. The plan is conceptualized as a single volume that can be completely open or compartmentalized for sleeping and privacy. The screen porch serves as sitting, dining and entry spaces, and the sloping roof allows for a sleeping loft perched high above. The interior space and screened area are divided by large, double French doors that seamlessly connect the living area to the outdoors.
A strong sense of the mountain environment is encouraged through strategically placed operable windows at each sleeping location including both levels of the bunk bed. This connection to the woods permeates the house. The front sliders open to the east to capture upslope breezes from the mountainside, while a continuous line of clerestory glass runs along the west elevation at the top of the sloping ceiling. Mechanically operated window units provide a natural stack effect, cooling the interior. On days with still air, three high fans cool the sleeping spaces and the kitchen area. The living space opens to the screened area allowing the house to behave as one large screen porch.
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