Austere Glass House by Specht Architects


Specht Architects designed a symmetrical glass pavilion in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, created as a residence and place of exhibition of antiques.

The clients hired Texas-based Specht Architects to build a minimalist 2,000-square-foot (186-square-meter) home with floor-to-ceiling glass walls offering views of the surrounding meadow and large mature trees.

The two-bedroom house acts as an object in the landscape, hovering slightly above the ground with parallel white floor and roof slabs extending outward from the glass box

“The approach sequence – traveling through a wooded area, then seeing the symmetrical house on the axis behind a large open pasture – reinforces the feeling of a pilgrimage home,” the Studio told Deneen.

The roof extends to a 15-foot (4.5 meter) wide porch that wraps around the entire house and shades the interior spaces, reducing the heating and cooling load of the house.

The newly planted natural grasses create a spectacular imprint when ripe.

Between the large glazed surfaces are load-bearing wall segments coated with natural white and gray cement stucco which also covers the soffit which hides a large amount of structural steel necessary for the large spire. The Terrace is made of natural concrete.

The Plan balances a bedroom suite at each end with efficient common areas in the middle.

“The finishes include huge seamless porcelain wall and floor surfaces, as well as fully concealed storage spaces, light fixtures and appliances,” the team said.

“The contrast of this Minimalism with the owner’s elaborate collection is dramatic and adds to the otherworldly aspect of the house.”

European oak and elegant quartz cabinets adorn the kitchen, while the lighting and fixtures are recessed to be almost invisible. The house also contains a built-in wall storage that holds additional collectibles, allowing the owners to rotate their exhibits as they wish.

The laundry room Serves as a living room-style art gallery – on one side of the room are the utility appliances, on the other richly framed and illuminated paintings.

“We rarely have the chance to design an “object house” on a completely open plot without neighboring buildings or any other built context requiring an architectural response,” the Studio said.

“For this reason, a symmetrical house is something that we have never done before; however, it was the perfect answer to both the location and the minimal program of the owner.

“The form and the approach applied to it create an increased drama that is extreme and somewhat unexpected.”

Founded by Scott Specht in Austin, Texas, Specht Architects has projects all over the country, from a poured concrete house in Dallas to a flat house overlooking the Santa Fe Mountains, to a stacked beach house in New Jersey.

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