Jerusalem Road House

May '16

Twenty minutes south of Boston off of Jerusalem Road in Cohasset is the entrance to Holly Hill Farm. Visitors are greeted by cheerful livestock and classic red farm buildings dating back to the 1600’s. A narrow dirt road winds through the 140 acre property to a private 12 acre homestead.

The surrounding 170 year old man-made rock walls snake around the open lawn where a few apple trees were planted by past relatives. Deer sneak their fruit in the morning, while shy barred owls call out in the stillness of the night. A barn-kit house built in 2006 by the residing family and a local contractor, sits along the perimeter of the forest. The farm’s collective property containing houses, trails, and farming fields has always been a labor of love and a family collaborative.

When relatives would come together however, the home failed to provide a space that fostered family growth and gathering. A separated kitchen, not large enough for traditional Greek family cooking, sat in the front of an otherwise open unused space. Three goals were addressed in the renovation- better kitchen space, additional indoor living space and additional outdoor living space. Walls were taken down rearranging the main floor layout to promote the social inclusivity of the kitchen in their family dynamic. Eighty square feet of Vermont soapstone countertops anchored and centered the new open floor plan hosting hot roasting pans and the rolling of filo dough.The new countertops lent themselves to preparing, cooking, eating, and most importantly gathering.

The second phase of the project opened the rear, north side of the house, allowing natural light and the thick forest to leak into the existing home. An addition was constructed above the land’s sloping ledge that protruded out into the trees. Floor to ceiling windows, hardwood flooring and a sloped ceiling framed the views, resembling a suspended, perched treehouse. This new space acted as a counterpoint to the bustle of the kitchen activity. French doors open to a third gathering space on the outdoor deck. The wood planks wind and scribe around the lands exposed stone ledge. The exterior of the addition is clad in barnboard to mimic the language of the existing house. Each space now lends itself to more intimate gatherings and they work together for larger celebrations.


Project Architect: Rob Trumbour

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