Practicality ruled when a farmhouse in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts was built in the 1800s: it was sited by the road, with working fields within eyesight, in the least private spot on a sprawling property. Well over a century later, the house is now a weekend home for a pair of nature lovers escaping the city—and its placement makes far less sense. Said architect Faith Rose: “Dramatic views of the nature beyond can be found out in the middle of the fields, and the farmhouse misses the view.”
Short of moving the farmhouse, Rose and Devin O’Neill of O’Neill Rose Architects in Brooklyn found a way to solve the problem—by orienting a pool and pavilion in an adjoining field for maximum enjoyment of the site: “This project allows the clients to take advantage both of the amazing views and the privacy of their land in a way they hadn’t before.”
Photography by Michael Moran courtesy of O’Neill Rose Architects.
The pavilion is sided with white-painted cedar clapboard, cut to the the same dimensions as the siding on the farmhouse. The decking is water-resistant ipe wood.
“We knew that the grading of the site would be key to creating a serene environment,” said Rose. “We leveled a small section for the pool and pavilion, and built the wall to hold back the slope.”
The pool is made of gunite in a dark gray finish, and slopes from 3 to 5 feet deep. At the near end, just off the deck, an underwater bench allows bathers to sit and read or look at the view.