The broad stroke design of this home harkens to sap houses and agricultural structures of the Northeast and the flare of mountain homes for a balance of rugged and modern aesthetics. Forms evoke the traditional, such as the clerestory and the cylindrical stair tower but are tempered within via the non-traditional great room space and helical, modern stairs.
“Often I find the most beautiful designs are when you can see the function of a structure. I enjoy thinking of a balance of the purpose of a structure and function, and how the builders achieve that goal,” shared Shannon, homeowner of the Circle in a Square project. “I enjoy seeing the inner workings of things. That’s why I love timber frame structures. Take a home and its many reasons for being; there is an endless way of accomplishing the goal. You need a roof and walls and other parts and ways for them to be held up and attached. The timber frame is probably one of the most unique ways of showing how that can be done.”
Ty Allen, AIA, our Design and Construction General Manager explained, “The craft of traditional timber framing with mortise and tenon joinery was key to this home, particularly in the main living areas. The site itself encouraged main valley views with secondary western views of the woods. It was right for the desired northeast and mountain aesthetics. For the exterior, we wanted to respect the New England vernacular but bring in some rugged balance to the modern. Materials, as well as structural forms of the silo-like stair and clerestory, played a role in achieving this.”
Paramount to the overall plan was a centralized living space where the family of five could eat, relax, and entertain with enough elbow room to be comfortable but not overly cavernous.
The ‘circle in a square’ idea for this living area began with pure circle and square forms. “It developed into complex, compound three-dimensional forms to create a basket-like condition of structure overhead, embracing those within the great room,” continued Ty.
Shannon added: “The result is just stunning. It stops everyone dead in their tracks. I spend hours getting lost in the great room. Almost every time I look at it I’m finding something new and amazing.”
Ty further explained the design: “Lower volumes are created, and dimensionality is woven in, with arched timber brackets and curving lines. The curves and arches were realized with a combination of double sawn solid timbers and grain-matched glulams.”
Shannon continued, “New Energy Works is amazing at integrating unique joinery with a timeless medium of wood leaving you wondering ‘how could this have been done?’”
The home employs a high-efficiency enclosure system and natural materials, including site-harvested stone. On the site the frame is situated to take in views while maintaining seclusion and quite privacy to allow the family respite from the stresses of the outside world.
Ty shared that in the future “A few other buildings are set to be fitted to the site including a timber frame barn and an adjacent garage with pool house. The community of structures continues to evolve.”