The design of the home was directly inspired by the rich tradition of the New England agrarian architecture of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. A rambling approach to the massing breaks down the overall scale of the house nicely and allows it to sit comfortably in its agrian landscape.
The layout of the first floor is organized around the idea of having all the major rooms have a view towards the paddocks, and thus taking advantage of the southern exposure. Picturesque massing is used to downplay the size of the house, and how that size is perceived upon entry from the street.
One enters from the north after traversing a motor court which is lined with large specimen trees that are original to the site. In fact, the owner had previously lived on the same site in a smaller house that was closer to the street. The new house was sited just to the south of the existing house, and part of the existing house and the existing barn were reused, both of which were moved to new locations on the site. The exterior of the new structure as well as the section of the existing house that was reused were clad in materials of the local architectural vocabulary of New England including: New England fieldstone, red cedar clapboards with 8 inch exposure, Vermont slate roof, and New England bluestone.
The formal spaces, which are designed around the client’s philanthropic entertaining, are entered from a double height reception hall which includes a corner fireplace. The main stair opens onto the hall and features a sitting area at the oversized landing at the stone tower window. A second floor gallery and walkway overlook the reception hall, and are lit by a lightwell that brings sunlight into the north side of the house through leaded glass lay lights designed by the architect.
Each of the rooms are designed with the period inspired details that reflect the architecture of the whole house. The living room is sunken down from the adjacent reception hall, and has both an office and a sunroom connected at the outside corners and expressed as small pavillions with windows on three sides. In the opposite direction, an enfilade leads one through the family entry, kitchen, and breakfast room and culminates with a view to the scenic red barn in the distance.
The second floor master suite occupies the southwest corner of the floor, and it provides the owner with the view of their animals as they graze in fields at the rear of the house. The master bath tub is situated in front of a bell curved window arrangement that perfectly frames a view of the barn. There is a private second floor deck off of the master suite where the owners can take in both sunrise and sunset. Taken as a whole, the house offers a multitude of specially considered views that serve to establish a rooted connection to the surrounding landscape.
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Catalano Architects Inc.
115 Broad Street, Fl. 2
Boston, MA 02110
Richard C. Rigoli
160 Riverview Avenue
Waltham MA 02453
The MacDowell Co.
21 Center Street
Weston MA 02493