This project is a response to a client’s desire to build a small weekend house on an existing shared property with southern views overlooking the Berkshire Hills. The 1,200 sq. ft. weekend house for a Japanese client consists of a study, living dining area, master bedroom suite and a large soaking bathtub. The house has the compactness and interior sparseness akin to traditional Japanese architecture and serves as a peaceful retreat from busy city life.
In the spirit of a Japanese kimono, the house is conceived as a single sweeping volumetric “sheet” enclosure that wraps and folds into itself to form and define two major interior spaces, and tie the house with the landscape. The primary interior space is used for living, dining and cooking. An extended closed-in porch like aperture, analogous to an engawa or “in-between space” found in traditional Japanese architecture, extends off the main space to frame the primary view and create a transition between inside and outside. The secondary space serves as a master bedroom suite. The house is designed to be relatively inexpensive both in construction and maintenance. As much of the site as possible has been left untouched and restored for the growth of natural wild flowers, which dominate the surrounding landscape in the summer.