desai chia architects weaves the landscape into its blackened timber roxbury house

desai chia architects weaves the landscape into its blackened timber roxbury house

a clustered home in a sweeping meadow

 

In Connecticut, Desai Chia Architecture realizes its Roxbury House as a unique and thoughtful dialogue between architecture and landscape. The design team took inspiration from the long meadow that sweeps down a quarter of a mile from the road, much like the landscape of the beloved upstate sculpture park Storm King Art Center. In celebration of its site, the home is perched towards the highest point of the site, capturing its natural breezes and dedicating the rest of the property for wildlife.

 

The architects note that with its overlapping home, studio, and gallery spaces, the project takes shape as a ‘three dimensional woven quilt pattern where offset single story buildings and landscape stitch together across the edge of the twelve-acre site.’

desai chia roxbury house
images © Paul Warchol@paul_warchol

 

 

desai chia integrates galleries into the roxbury house

 

The team at Desai Chia Architects designs the Roxbury House for the owners of a Lower Manhattan art gallery which showcases the work of contemporary Latin American artists. The clients wanted a space that was an extension of their gallery, its living areas paired with a place for rotating installations, site specific outdoor pieces, and a future artist-in-residence program. With these mixed functions, the architecture takes on a three-dimensional program of home, gallery, and workspace.

desai chia roxbury house

 

 

weaving the interiors and landscape

 

The design of the Roxbury House is characterized by undulating roofs that provide unique perspectives of the surrounding landscape and create distinct programmatic experiences. Two courtyards, which serve as outdoor galleries, can accommodate site-specific installations and sculptures. These indoor and outdoor spaces vary in scale and are interconnected through long axial views that showcase a range of materials and lighting. Meanwhile, the hallways are wrapped on one side in tiled walls with display shelves while floor-to-ceiling windows open onto a central courtyard, establishing an harmonious connection between the building and its natural context.

desai chia roxbury house

 

 

craft is showcased with charred-wood cladding

 

To highlight the staggered forms of the building, Desai Chia Architecture clads the exterior of its Roxbury House in black ‘shou sugi ban’ wood. As the wood transitions to the interior walls and ceilings, a lighter level of charring is applied to create a calming medium grey tone. The interior design incorporates elements of craftsmanship and texture, influenced by the contemporary artwork showcased at the owner’s art gallery. For example, imperfect hand-glazed wall tiles in the hallways catch and reflect sunlight in a playful manner throughout the day. The fireplace and wood storage niche in the living room are designed with angled forms that echo the roof, creating a sense of depth and shadow.

desai chia roxbury house

 

 

A guesthouse is designed as an open studio space with a complete kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area, allowing guests and artists to reside and create there while maintaining privacy from the main house. It is linked to the main house through a covered walkway that forms part of the undulating roof system. The roofs are designed to collect and channel stormwater to downspout outlets that lead to rain gardens, preventing erosion and flooding on the steep site. Moreover, the west-facing garage roof is equipped with Tesla photovoltaic panels that serve as a backup power source for the house.

 

The Roxbury House exemplifies a space that marries architecture and landscape to generate both intimate and broad moments, from the design of the home to the use of materials and the integration of outdoor spaces.

desai chia roxbury housefloor-to-ceiling windows follow the vertical timber cladding

desai-chia-architects-roxbury-house-designboom-06a

the multi-structure organization encourages a connection with the landscape

desai chia architects weaves the landscape into its blackened timber roxbury housea sloping shed roof is expressed along the interiors

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the home is expressed in a palette of soft, neutral shades/dbcosmo_fullwidth_image]

 

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project info:

 

project title: Roxbury House

architecture: Desai Chia Architecture @desaichiaarchitecture

location: Roxbury, Connecticut

landscape architect: LaGuardia Design Group
structural engineer: Murray Engineering
civil engineer: Arthur H Howland & Associates
lighting design: Christine Sciulli Light + Design
general contractor: Berkshire Wilton Partners
millwork: Elephants Custom Furniture
photography: © Paul Warchol@paul_warchol

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