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Meetings House

Meeting(s) House

In a former life as an industrial designer (design for industry: packaging, product, graphic, exhibit) I felt we were the true purveyors of “how things meet.” Outside of form and fashion there were the mechanics and poetics of how materials, colors, textures, and components fit together. Architecture takes this very seriously too, but frames it differently. These meetings in architecture are subtle to the end user, but where kitchen meets table and mudroom meets garage are just as profound as where roof meet sky and house meet ground.

The original rectangular colonial home sat square on the corner lot. A previous addition seemed to be about budget rather than solving problems and creating street presence. Once it was gone a new conflation of form was need to join the interior spaces gracefully and bring occupants from outside to inside and around again. The prize destination is the simple raised terrace area. This outdoor space was a must for the homeowners. It needed to be close enough for private family meetings, and far away enough to greet neighbors at the street. The subtleties of a wave can offer a quick acknowledgement or an impromptu invite.

Ironically, this home’s austere and crispy white corners are reminiscent of early New England meeting houses created for religious communities in early colonial life and beyond. Like their congregations, their construction was simple and uncompromising. There were no excessive elements in its execution with the best material forged by the best hands. Dovetailed, coped, and time test joinery were the real reigning meeting places.

The new addition came in the form of two new rooflines to gracefully merge with the existing roofline. The central roof needed to be low slung in order to reduce mass and provide cover for access to the outdoor space while the central dormer there retains the needed space on the second-floor level. The new garage or bookend was proud to the street with its steep gable and feature window encompassed in a box bay capped with a gratuitous layer of transom windows to prove its importance. It’s large overhead door below with eyebrow roof plummets to meet the driveway.

It’s white modern farmhouse persona accentuates the New England aesthetic. A combination of clapboard siding with board and batten siding embodies its’ simple being. The interior has a fresh organization of work, utility, and play spaces. Music studio, library and generous mudroom are all features interlaced into a home for a modern family to meet each day’s routine or unexpected surprises.

Meetings House

Meetings House