Mountain Loft


Len and Tony brought an urban sensibility to their home in the Berkshires. They found a modest ranch house with good bones on a sunny, secluded mountain site. On a site visit prior to purchase we discovered the roof structure to be free-spanning trusses. This allowed us to gut the interior walls and create a wide open loft living area. The other big move was to tilt up a portion of the main roof towards the south, on axis with the kitchen and dining area.

The stair to the basement was moved next to the foyer, with both wrapped in a shoji enclosure, the only walls within the main living space. Window & door openings were expanded to bring in the outdoors. The bedroom walls were left largely intact, though gutted and re-fitted, with an expanded master bathroom. From then on it was a matter of blending various influences together with uncompromising finish work.

The shoji partitions are built of cherry and antique glass. The operative windows are true French casements, swinging to the inside. The stainless steel & colored glass kitchen is from Italy, as are many of the lighting fixtures and furniture. The wood flooring is dark walnut, with thick stone tiles set flush for the kitchen and foyer floors. The view-through gas fireplace is set within a sandstone clad wall. Custom 3-panel cherry doors are set into the walls without casing, as are the windows but for their stone interior sills. Outside, the old porch roof was cut back to cover just the entry area, with the remainder transformed into an intimate bronze-screened porch. New cantilevered decks clad in Ipe and trimmed with stainless steel railings are set on hidden beams anchored to helical metal piers that minimize disruption to the site. Vertical cedar siding and Galvalume standing seam roofing complete the exterior skin.

The house is an exercise in the strategy of less is more, and the blending of eclectic inspirations through meticulous attention to detail. Much credit for the ensemble and execution goes to the owners and builder. Energy Star certified.