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New Hampshire Retreat


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Project Description

Winner of an honorable mention in the 2017 P/A Awards

“It’s a simple parti, but the plan and the interstitial areas between the rooms that serve as indoor–outdoor spaces are really quite beautiful.”
—juror Jennifer Bonner

Modeled after the MacDowell Colony for artists, this northern New Hampshire retreat is designed to take full advantage of its hilltop site in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. Designed by Boston-based NADAAA, its rooms—three guestrooms, dining and living spaces, a photo lab, and support facilities—are arranged in an ellipse, and angled to optimize views out over a broad valley. The rooms sit under a single roof and open onto a central, slate-floored courtyard, making each a semi-autonomous structure within the whole; the different orientations create spaces in between the rooms which the architects have set aside for semi-private patios.

While the 6,354-square-foot facility is intended as a space for visiting artists, its program also encourages a significant commitment to rest and relaxation. A semi-detached spa can be reached via a covered walkway, and voluminous storage space in the basement is meant for skis, snowshoes, and other cold-weather sporting equipment.
The structure is clad in vertical, tongue-and-groove white cedar slats, reflecting the local forests. White cedar is also used in the ceilings, fencing, and louvers between passageways and the interior courtyard, creating an instant, common visual element. The structure is protected from the elements by triple-glazed windows and a stout thermal mass.

The retreat’s bold main entry is an open-air passage formed by the sinuous underside of a stairway to the roof deck. It leads to the central courtyard, which centers on a fire pit, providing a visual and material refuge from the wild and often harsh nature outside. —Clay Risen

Project Credits
Project: New Hampshire Retreat, Bethlehem, N.H.
Client: Withheld
Architect: NADAAA, Boston . Nader Tehrani, Katherine Faulkner, AIA (principals); Ryan Murphy, Sergio Verrillo, Marta Guerra, Tim Wong AIA, Tom Beresford, Lisa LaCharité, John Houser AIA, Alda Black, Laura Williams, Wes Hiatt (team)
Size: 6,354 square feet
Cost: Withheld

2014 Residential Architect Awards
On the Boards / Citation

Intended as a research retreat for the biomedical field, this complex in New Hampshire is designed as a place of peace and introspection. To that end, each of the rooms is carefully oriented to capture panoramic views of the White Mountains and the surrounding landscape. The three bedroom suites, as well as the shared living, dining, and work areas, are all organized in an elliptical plan centered around an open-air interior courtyard. The wood-framed structure will be clad in a system of tongue-and-groove white cedar slats that run vertically from grade to the roofline—this material will be carried through as louvers, fencing, and wall and ceiling cladding as well, throughout the interior and exterior, to allow the sweeping form of the ovoid house and the ceiling vaults to serve as the primary design language of the structure. “I think this is a very strong project,” juror Joel Sanders said. “It’s about ideas of domesticity, it’s about the site, and it’s about someone exploring formal experimentation.” Fellow juror Josh Shelton agreed, noting that the project showed evidence of “someone investigating an idea on all fronts, and I think that's what you hope built work would aspire to.” —Katie Gerfen
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