One of the characteristics of in-between places is that they are often difficult to define as either indoor or outdoor rooms. The summer room by Centerbrook Architects is uniquely able to play both roles. Built as an addition to an existing small house, it was designed to transport the owners out of their workaday city world into one of country comfort.
The basic form of the original house is traditional and rectangular; so to create the sense of being in a space apart, the designers used a completely different geometry for the summer room. The almost octagonal space projects from the building and has a roof form that distinguishes it from the original house. It is surrounded on five sides by an herb garden, making it more a room in the garden than a room in the house.
In summer, the triple-hung windows are moved up, above door head height, leaving large screened openings below. The room then functions like a screened-in porch, open to breezes and filled with the scents of the garden.
Patterns of Home
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Part of the ArchitectureWeek Patterns series. Text and images excerpted with permission from Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design by Max Jacobson, Murray Silverstein, and Barbara Winslow, copyright © 2002 The Taunton Press, Inc. The book is available from The Taunton Press and at Amazon.com.