- Quonochontaug House by Bernheimer Architecture
Reconciling form and function without leaving an overly visible footprint in a valued natural environment. With Quonochontaug House, the architects from Bernheimer Architecture have come up with a truly surprising solution that earned it a 2015 AIA Small Project Award from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA).
This weekend retreat on coastal Rhode Island blends in perfectly with its surroundings, assisted by the straightforward, squared exterior, whose edges are blurred by the shimmering cladding formed of charred, brushed, and oiled cypress slats. This aesthetically attractive, sustainable Japanese technique is called Shou Sugi Ban; it does away with the need for chemicals and makes the exterior virtually maintenance-free.
Quonochontaug House faces a pool terrace to the east and the ocean to the west and the sun-drenched interiors are arranged around an open-plan ground floor, with double-height spaces lit by skylights over the kitchen, living room, study, and entry foyer and three compact bedrooms around the same skylights on the first floor.
The light and its architectural use convinced the jury of the AIA Small Project Award to make Bernheimer Architecture a recipient in 2015. The interiors are all shaped by the light, whose patterns change with the seasons and the times of day, in addition to bringing in the landscape through the windows overlooking both the ocean and the land.
Quonochontaug House is sustainable architecture with a close but not overly bold connection with its context - it seeks a balanced engagement for a peaceful, relaxed stay.
Architect: Bernheimer Architecture
Location: Charlestown, Rhode Island, USA
Photography: © Jeremy Bitterman
Find out more: www.aia.org