• Credit: David Stansbury

austin design, colrain, mass.

An asymmetrical butterfly roof appears to float ethereally over a perimeter of clerestories. The symbolism of a butterfly roof over a pool house didn't go unappreciated by the judges of this winning project, but they were also taken by its inner beauty: “Gorgeous, beautiful space, really quite elegant interiors.” Designed for a triathlete in Massachusetts who must train year-round, the building takes its long, lean form from the Olympic-sized pool it shelters. The roof structure, says architect Bill Austin, contributes “some dynamic movement” to the otherwise serene enclosure. Where the roof planes intersect, copper scuppers catch and dispatch rainfall runoff. “Most of the water flows toward the north side, where its splashes onto a rock garden,” Austin says. “It's another play on water as the essence of the building.”

In temperate weather, 10 double-wide glass doors with horizontal steel dividers open the pool to the outdoors. The building's exterior siding and interior ceiling material—tongue-and-groove camberra wood with exposed edges—further emphasizes horizontal motion. And the Doug fir studs that frame the clerestory provide a vertical counterpoint.

principal in charge / project architect / interior designer / general contractor: Bill Austin, Austin Design
project designer / interior designer: Rachel Chase, Austin Design
general contractor: ASA Carpentry, Montague, Mass.
land planner: Joan S. Rockwell & Associates, Colrain
landscape architect: John Urschel, Amherst
project size: 1,636 square feet
construction cost: $200 per square foot
photographer: David Stansbury

  • Twin panes of fixed glass mark the intersection of the rooflines. Every other row of siding was omitted at this point for a layered effect of light and shadows.

    Credit: David Stansbury

    Twin panes of fixed glass mark the intersection of the rooflines. Every other row of siding was omitted at this point for a layered effect of light and shadows.