Moose Hill House / Utile

© Robert Knight

Architects: Utile, Inc
Location: South of Boston, Massachusetts,
Structural Engineer: Amy Dean, PE
Total Area: 344 sqm
Conditioned Area: 260 sqm
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Robert Knight

site plan
© Robert Knight

Designed for a family recently transplanted from the city, the Moose Hill House provides a prototype for urban spatial arrangements in a rural setting. The site has two specific orientations which define the split level organization of the house. The site features distant views of the city to the north and faces the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s 2000-acre Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary to the south. These equally compelling exposures suggested that the house should have two “fronts” and be equally approachable from grade at either. The house also takes advantage of its proximity to a nearby rail station, enabling the clients to maintain strong connections to their friends, work places, and the cultural amenities in the city.

© Robert Knight

Generated from a series of carefully integrated decisions, the design is intended to achieve maximum value, efficiency, and sustainability while maintaining a striking modern form high on the hillside. Super-insulating to reduce heat loss, “Smart-Framing” to reduce the amount of lumber required, garden roofs to manage run-off, and geo-thermal heating and cooling are among the strategies deployed to create a house with as little impact on the environment as possible.

Products in this project

Construction materials, Semi-finished materials: Caesarstone

  • Countertops by Caesarstone

Heating and Ventilation: Dragin Drilling

  • Geothermal heat pump by Dragin Drilling

Joinery: Fleetwood Windows & Doors

  • Windows by Fleetwood Windows & Doors

Walls: ICI Paints

  • Paints by ICI Paints
Cite: "Moose Hill House / Utile" 07 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Albert

    Neat job. Good for them not being afraid to use such a bold pallet of bordo. Like how the wood contrasts with that strong tone. And hey, it is eco-friendly too …
    P.S. What is that “smart framing” they’re talking about? Could be more specific if they are trying to go into the technical details

  • threads

    I think it’s all about minimizing studs and framing skeleton while maintaining shear strength.

    Site placement and orientation is also really nicely done!


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  • up_today_arch

    Well done, professional… but, unfortunatelly regular cubic building…

  • David

    Handsome house, BUT–

    Aside from the color, weren’t things of this type first invented 90 years ago (Mies) and then reprised during the Case Study campaign in California during the 50′s and 60′s?

    If indeed this is democratic single family housing, as it strikingly references, the technical language should really simply and (ideally) follow social motive and conscience.

    The house, in reality, is trying to service two conflicting interests simultaneously: luxury & social relevance (aka utility).

    The language of the second aim is co-opted in the interests of the first. Architecture has been stuck in this fix since midCentury.

  • jonnathann

    I drive by this house 6x a week and I’m so happy to be able to see a bit of the inside. It is such a breath of fresh air in what is otherwise a town with lots of 60′s and 70′s style split level eye-sores and boring traditional colonials.

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