New England's archetypal agrarian forms, subtly refracted through a modernist lens, give this house-and-barn compound a timeless sense of belonging in its rural setting. Occupying a small rise surrounded by acres of wooded wetlands, the buildings replace a small ranch-style house that long served as the owners' vacation retreat. The new arrangement is purpose-built for that function, explains project architect Gale Goff, with an open-plan main house geared for summer gatherings and a guest apartment above the detached garage that accommodates the owners during low-impact winter visits.

“They were very interested in reducing their carbon footprint,” says Goff, who specified a geothermal heating system and spray foam insulation throughout, “and in using as many regional materials as possible.” Stone from old barn foundations, heart pine flooring reclaimed from historic mill structures, and Vermont slate counters reinforce the building's local ties. Exposed I-beam “timbers,” glazed four-panel doors, and horizontal-board paneling express an astutely abstracted farmhouse character.

The net result, said one judge, is “a vernacular feeling—reinterpreted, yet very fresh.”

Project Credits
: Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, R.I.
Builder: Jacob Talbot – Fine Homebuilders, Adamsville, R.I.
Landscape architect: Martha S. Moore, Landscape Architect, Tiverton, R.I.
Living space: 2,750 square feet
Site: 40 acres
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Warren Jagger Photography

Product Specs
Bathroom fittings and fixtures: Lacava; Bathroom fixtures: Lacava, TOTO USA; Cooktop: Viking Range Corp.; Dishwasher: Bosch USA; Garage doors: Overhead Door Corp.; Garbage disposer: In-Sink-Erator; Hardware: Omnia Industries, Valli&Valli (U.S.A.); HVAC equipment: Carrier Corp.; Insulation: Icynene; Kitchen fittings: Blanco America; Kitchen fixtures: KWC America; Lighting fixtures: Artemide U.S.A., Lightolier, Tech Lighting; Oven/range: Thermador; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore & Co., The Coatings Alliance (C2); Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Roofing: Englert; Skylight/roof windows: VELUX A/S; Solar energy system: Alteris Renewables (SolarWrights); Windows: Marvin Windows and Doors