Forest House

A forest retreat for Architect Peter Bohlin’s parents, this small summer home is carefully sited at the strategic position between dark evergreens and bright deciduous woodland.

As darkness shifts to liquid patterns of light, one experiences a rich unfolding from approach and entry to movement through the house.

Built in the mid seventies in West Cornwall, Connecticut, Forest House has been an award winning architectural gem ever since.

Camouflaged among the trees, the green-stained wood house hovers above a boulder-strewn landscape, resting on concrete piers.

Rather than removing a large granite boulder or moving the building, a telling accommodation was made by scribing a platform to the boulder, psychologically anchoring the house in the landscape.

There is great pleasure in modest means: the shimmering green tapestry of the forest seen through red industrial glazing; the poignancy of an operating sash with its subtle gray insect screen floating in the window wall; the rippling profile of an aluminum corrugated roof.

Responding to the cues and spirit of the landscape, the Forest House, in its simplicity of materials and form, is at once engaging and serene, elegant and comforting.

“An unusually sensitive and thoughtful house… Exciting spatial sequence to an imaginative plan opening to the heavily wooded site… If the house were removed, the site would be completely intact; an extremely sensitive approach to the intrusion with nature.”

— Jury comment, Connecticut Society of Architects

Photography by Michael Thomas

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson will be revisiting this project shortly….watch this space!

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