Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Kent House | New England, USA | Gray Organschi Architecture
This house for two university professors and their teenage children reflects their desire for spatial informality and material rusticity. Family life is centered on the heart of the house, a large wood-lined open-plan room for cooking, eating and living that embraces the forest surrounding the building. A balcony overlook provides one work space, while another writer’s nook is tucked under the catwalk that edges the tall room. Guests are afforded privacy in their own wing, with its own terrace. A screened porch flows from the house out to the decking that weaves into existing boulders. Second floor bedrooms are small, simple and, nestled into the sheltering boughs of mature trees, give an impression of being in a tree house.
The property is a typical contemporary Southern New England phenomenon: a rural, heavily wooded subdivision, strewn with ledge and laced with wetlands - a site that would have been avoided historically as a place in which to build. It is the kind of place that is lovely in its natural state and therefore heavily restricted as a building lot. The general lay of the land pitches to the north; potential views and access to a nearby lake lie to the west. The demands and restrictions of the site shaped the house. The building's circulation path weaves through trees, around fern blanketed bogs, finally hewing as interior space to the topographic contour line of a significant piece of ledge. The surfaces of the large interior common space open, shift, and distort to optimize daylight, natural ventilation and views......more