interior spaces from across the globe and stretching back hundreds of years. Of her own
home, she says, “Some people think it’s cool, and others can’t figure it out.”
The building has two distinct wings, each with its own entrance: One is an open and
inviting 3,260-square-foot, three-bedroom residence, the other a 900-square-foot, two-floor
studio for her architectural office. The two halves of the street-facing facade are connected
by an open-air, covered walkway. The back of the house is stacked into the hillside like a
Rubik’s Cube, with loads of windows oriented to the view.
“I wanted the house to be closed to the street,” says Sigrid, “and the [studio] to have its
own entry. So that set up the L-shape configuration, with the studio perpendicular to the
living area. After that, the pieces fell into place.” At the joint of the “L,” a slight dip in the
standing-seam metal butterfly roof aids in rainwater collection. “Where they converge at
the low point, there is a trellis,” she says. There are also plans for a rain garden at the back
of the house, near a patio of locally sourced Goshen slate, which the couple find is a popular spot for whiling away warm summer evenings.
Visitors wind down the gravel driveway that feeds cars into the parking area. From
there, a courtyard lined with chunky granite is an orderly affair, planted with perennials
such as meadow sage, witch hazel, and clematis. “It’s an area that [I wanted to be seen as]
clearly ‘person-made,’” says Sigrid, noting that the tension between the controlled front
garden and the wild natural landscape in the back was intentional.
Inside the front door, the combination living/dining area is all about the view. A sinewy
wood dining table, designed by the architect, leads the eye to an 11-foot-high, 9-foot-wide
bank of windows. Artwork by the couple’s colleagues, and some by Sigrid herself, brightens a generous seating area outfitted with sleek contemporary furniture.
The kitchen is open to the living/dining area. Concrete counters are by Stone Soup of
Increasingly, architect Sigrid Miller Pollin finds herself
designing multifamily, mixed-use developments in the
Pioneer Valley region of Western Massachusetts. She
hopes that the buildings will fill a sorely felt void in the
choices for young
employed by the five
colleges in the area.
This single-level ranch
will be handicap accessible, and is one of three
residences on a plot of land developed by the architect.
She is submitting the house to the U.S. Green Building
Council for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) platinum rating. Also included are
traditional “green” elements from family farms, such as
chicken coops, root cellars, outdoor clotheslines, and
kitchen gardens. Miller Pollin hopes to complete the
third home in May. For more on this and other projects,