In the historic heart of the bucolic Berkshires rises a modern bungalow resembling more an exactingly crafted sideboard than the two-story colonial it replaces. “Colonial” feels intrinsic to this part of western Massachusetts, which has in recent years attracted increasing numbers of weekending New Yorkers and Bostonians to its quaint old villages, rolling hills, apple orchards, and horse corrals. For the newly retired husband-and-wife owners of the Berkshire Residence, who were both raised in the area (the wife on the property itself) and wanted a restful home in line with their current needs, it was important that their architect channel that same vision of the good life.
“The brief was to create a one-story home that could express the owners’ values and, at the same time, celebrate the memories of the property,” said Vincent Appel, principal of the Boston- and New York-based architecture firm Of Possible. Using evocative material choices and subtle spatial cues, Appel’s design enhances this genius loci, making it a felt presence throughout the house. “It feels like it is of the New England landscape,” he added, “but then it starts to misbehave as the geometry is tweaked.”