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Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Forest House, West Cornwall, Connecticut

"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

  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo

Photo:

The Nature of Place

A forest retreat for 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. 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.

  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Photo:

The Nature of People

  • Enrico Ferorelli
  • Joseph Molitor

Photo:

The Nature of Materials

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.

  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • M. Thomas Arch. Photo
  • Enrico Ferorelli

Photo:

  • Location West Cornwall, Connecticut
  • Dates 1973-1975
  • Size 1,880 sf
  • Related Links Circumstances, Expectations and Trust: An Interview with Peter Bohlin and Ray Calabro
  • "...as well-conceived as one could imagine. ...tall and grand yet comfortably proportioned, it is rich in light and open to its glorious setting.... The entrance sequence is superbly controlled. The visitor walks along the bridge, down a few steps to an enclosed breezeway within the mass of the house.... Ahead is a glimpse of the two-story main living area, with the forest view beckoning through the huge industrial window."

    —Paul Goldberger The New York Times Magazine

  • Awards/Honors
  • 1977
    Citation for Excellence in Design, AIA Philadelphia

    Homes for Better Living, First Honor Award, American Institute of Architects and House and Home Magazine
  • 1976
    Design Award, Architectural Record, Record Houses Awards Program
  • 1975
    Honor Award, Connecticut Society of Architects

    First Honor Award for Design Excellence, Pennsylvania Society of Architects

Related Work The Web of Circumstance

  • The Nature of Place
  • The Nature of People
  • The Nature of Materials