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Architectural Project Of The Week: The Berkshire Residence

western red cedar siding on home in berkshires

Architect: Vincent Appel / Of Possible

Photographer: Rory Gardiner

Contractor: Kent Hicks Construction

The Berkshire Residence is located in rural Sheffield, Massachusetts among active farmland and the rolling forested hills of the Berkshires. The home was designed by Vincent Appel / Of Possible in response to the client’s wish for a new, modern architecture that still engaged the memories of the original home on the site that they had grown up on, including an apple orchard, barn, and horse corral, a wetland ravine, and a grand maple tree.

The clients were torn between wanting a glass house and something more traditional to reflect their roots on the property, and the result ended up as a contemporary design that highlighted and framed the spaces of memory, with each window and door acting as a large floor to ceiling glass picture frame looking out to those exterior spaces.

western red cedar siding on full home

“For the Berkshire Residence, we were creating a building to last for generations” says architect Vincent Appel, “It was important to use only natural materials where we could. On the exterior of the building we wanted to create a familiar but highly refined look and feel. Western Red Cedar [siding] over a well ventilated rainscreen was selected to meet this criteria.”

Looking out the large glass windows, the generous exterior covered terraces create spaces for new memories as the clients retire and are joined frequently by their children, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and friends.

western red cedar siding on covered exterior terrace

The house is conceived of as a one story pavilion in the landscape. Materials are selected locally and the detailing is inspired by the timeless craft of traditional New England construction. The result is a contemporary expression of rural American architecture that will last for generations.

western red cedar siding and glass windows in evening

Grade: A and Better clear, up to 10% B, kiln dried, selected for Vertical Grain

Size: 1X4 and 1X6, tongue and groove, smooth face, 1/8” fineline edge reveal

Fastening: Stainless steel nails blind nailed

Applied Finish: Driftwood gray, bleaching stain

Cedar Distributor: Mid-State Lumber Corp (Real Cedar Member)

Cedar Manufacturer: Hy-Mark Wood Products (Real Cedar Member)

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