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Kent, Connecticut

Photographer: Michael Moran

Located in the foothills of the Berkshires, Mount Mauwee House is tucked deep into the woods on one of the highest peaks in Connecticut. It has a minimal footprint so as to preserve the surrounding landscape. Its deceptively simple form uses prefabricated trusses and traditional building methods to create intriguing spaces with efficiency, while its material palette imbues it with warmth and texture.

The exterior appearance is that of a single-story home, yet upon entering the interior opens up to a series of light-filled lofted spaces over three stories. The uppermost floor, contained within an asymmetric hip roof, extends beyond the lower level to create an exterior room with framed views of the Catskill Mountains. To minimize cost and to expedite the construction schedule, the structure is made of 63 unique prefabricated roof trusses supported by standard framing. They structurally shape evocative spaces and openings on the upper floor.

The deliberate orientation of the house and overhangs allow direct light in the winter and provide solar protection in the summer. By tucking the second level inside the roof, the overall envelope surface is extremely compact, thus increasing energy performance. In addition, all heating and cooling is done with efficient heat pumps.

The Mount Mauwee House is a precedent for how to build a small house at a high quality within a tight budget. The cost savings and economy of means allowed for a more robust investment in custom detailing and materials. It uses standard residential construction techniques, are elevated to create a house that presents dignified and joy-filled spaces throughout, and connects the interior and exterior both visually and physically.

Featured In:
2022 AIACT Design Award
2020 BSA Design Award
2020 AIANY Residential Design Award
2020 “ResArch Now” Lecture
2020 March 10th Published in the New York Times

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