Launch Slideshow

Hillside Farmhouse, Boston

Hillside Farmhouse, Boston

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    Robert Benson

    The porch and stair tower signal the entrance. The light-colored entryway mixes classical portico with farmhouse porch.

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    Hooper Tetrault Studios

    The dining room is a south-facing bay with farmland views.

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    Hooper Tetrault Studios

    Living room details are simple but refined.

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    Hooper Tetrault Studios

    The library was designed as a night-time and winter retreat.

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    Robert Benson

    The south elevation's simple roof form anchors a relaxed composition of dormers and bay windows serving the bedrooms.

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    Robert Benson

    The front court suggests a working dooryard. The garage wing (right) encloses the arrival court.

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    Courtesy Albert Righter & Tittma

    First floor plan. Living areas in the room-width house are lined up like a train along the rear southern exposure. The stairwell was bumped to the front, inspiring a tower that marks the entryway.

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    Courtesy Albert Righter & Tittma

    Second floor plan. Bedrooms also get the benefit of southern light.

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    Robert Benson

    A wide porch shelters and frames the front door, which opens to a vista through the house to the south lawn.

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    Robert Benson

    The entry hall is a generous, welcoming space with vaulted ceilings.

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    Hooper Tetrault Studios

    The stair rises through the tower, wrapping around a monumental lantern column.

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    Robert Benson

    A band of windows floods the stair tower and second-floor hall with light, and a tent-like ceiling caps the space. The railing wraps without newel posts.

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    Hooper Tetrault Studios

    The free-standing tub in the master bath occupies a south-facing bay.

“This house is both serious and fun,” a judge noted appreciatively. “It’s the country house style done right, playful without being careless.” For clients described as both sophisticated and informal, architect John B. Tittmann designed a country house that flirts with farmhouse typology. The light-colored entryway mixes classical portico with farmhouse porch, and the front court suggests a working dooryard. “The garage is analogous to a barn in the way it connects to the mudroom,” Tittmann says. “It’s easy to live there with children and messy things.”

To harness the sun in this cold climate, living and sleeping areas in the room-width house are lined up like a train along the rear southern exposure. That bumped the stairwell to the front of the house, inspiring a tower that marks the entryway. The staircase spirals around a tall lantern column that’s visible through a band of clerestory windows as you arrive. “The wife’s family spends summers on the Maine coast, so the tower seems like a lighthouse,” Tittmann says. Above, a tentlike ceiling provides a light and airy canopy.

This hybrid house combines elements of a workmanlike farmhouse with the classical imagery prevalent in New England architecture. “It’s trying to reflect those aspects of the owners’ character,” Tittmann says. “We always think of our houses as portraits of our clients.”


Entrant/Architect: Albert, Righter & Tittmann Architects, Boston; Builder: Robert Lawrence Builders, Westwood, Mass; Landscape designer: Richard Burck Associates, Somerville, Mass.; Interior designer: Su Casa Designs, Newton, Mass.; Living space: 6,127 square feet; Site: Withheld; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographers: Robert Benson Photography and Hooper Tetrault Studios.


Resources: Bathroom fittings: Kohler, www.kohler.com; Cooktop: Thermador, www.thermador.com; Dishwasher: Bosch, www.bosch.com; Doors: Horner, www.hornermillwork.com; Hardware: Baldwin, www.baldwinhardware.com; Insulation: Icynene, www.icynene.com; Kitchen fittings: Rohl, www.rohlhome.com; Kitchen fixtures: Julien, www.julien.ca; Lighting fixtures: Restoration Hardware, www.restorationhardware.com; Range: Viking, www.vikingrange.com; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Sherwin-Williams, www.sherwin-williams.com; Refrigerator: Liebherr, www.liebherr-appliances.com; Windows: Marvin, www.marvin.com