The Small House

Great Barrington, Massachusetts

The plan of this 750 sf summer house is conceptualized as a single volume that can be completely open or compartmentalized for sleeping and privacy. The space of the main volume of kitchen, living, and dining opens up to a screened porch, extending the perceptual qualities of the space. Two sleeping nooks open to the main area and are defined by curtains and the roof floating above. The porch serves as sitting, dining, and entry spaces, and the sloping roof allows for a sleeping loft perched high above the space. A connection to the woods permeates the house. The front sliders open to the east to capture upslope breezes from the mountainside, while a continuous line of clerestory glass runs along the west elevation at the top of the sloping ceiling. Mechanically operated window units provide a natural stack effect, cooling the interior. On days with still air, high fans cool the sleeping spaces and the kitchen area. Strategically placed operable windows at each sleeping location, including both levels of bunk beds, link the sleeping nooks to the mountain environment. The living space opens to the screened area allowing the house to function as one large screened porch.