Residential Design

VOL.4. 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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belonged to Keith and his siblings, was not accessible by vehicle, so the partners had to carry materials in by hand. Three months and many small injuries later, the project was complete. Four teepee-like "huts" appeared atop a platform—two huts were for sleeping, one was for bathing, and one open-air hut served as dining pavilion. It was the perfect pared-down retreat for the ar- chitects and their families—elemental, for sure, but uplifting in its immersion in nature's simple pleasures. It won a host of design awards and captured the imagination of the mainstream press. Best of all, it brought mind and hand together for the firm—design and build. Yes, the Swamp Hut project is itself a kind of architectural folly, like the ones the partners wrote about in their "Con- temporary Follies" book for Monticello Press. But it also serves a tangible purpose—it's folly and function at the same time. The experience of designing and building the huts was a powerful one answer has been to compile and author a series of books on architecture—about houses in Martha's Vineyard, archi- tectural follies, and sustainable design. Architecture committed to paper in a book is perhaps more durable than "paper architecture." At a certain point, though, the firm began to yearn for more architectural "explorations" that result in built work, and they decided to take matters into their own hands. "We ended up finding fewer competitions that piqued our interest, so we started to create our own projects," says Keith. Swamp Thing The first sui generis project was Swamp Hut in 2008. The template derived from a number of ideas the partners had been kicking around for years—for rescue housing, resort housing—a kit of build- ing parts that would rest lightly on the land. The site was a swampy 10 acres in Newton, Mass., of which only ⅛th of an acre was buildable. The land, which for the partners—especially the intense focus on one project and the physical re- move from a conventional office setting. Additionally, it was useful in raising the national profile of the small New England firm. Keith and Robert were hooked. They wanted to design and build more of these creative projects, but the model was unsustainable—they had self-funded the huts, something they could not keep doing. What's more, they wanted to share the experience with others. "The process is like architectural improv," Clockwise from left: Swamp Hut, a low-tech retreat for the architects' families, inspired the firm's Studio North program. Half Glass House is a modern twist on a Cape Cod Shingle house. Photos this project: Courtesy Moskow Linn Photo: Peter Vanderwalker 14 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 4, 2018 PRO-FILE DESIGN

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