Berkshire House XIII is hard to miss. Its upper story, with factory-like saw-toothed skylights, cantilevers dramatically over a meadow. A sheathing of
Vermont roofing slates on the walls contrasts with the rigorously modern
concrete and steel construction.
It is a house of delightful contradictions and arguably the most exciting example of new architecture in the rural, yet culturally endowed,
Berkshires. It may also be the finest work to date by Burr and McCallum,
Architects, a small practice in Williamstown, Massachusetts, led by principals Andrus Burr and Ann McCallum, a husband-and-wife team that
produces handsome, understated museums, schools, commercial buildings, and houses that reflect the region’s history.
The owners of Berkshire House XIII are a Boston couple who used to
have a summer home on a lake in Maine. But once the kids were grown,
they realized they wanted “scenery and culture,” which brought them
to this 11-acre spot a couple of miles from Tanglewood. On the property
was a conch-shaped composition from the 1960s. The house, built by a
New York gallery owner, was “adorable,” but not the “modern Bauhaus
style” residence they wanted to complement their contemporary art col-
lection. Embracing the grand view was also a given, so the architects
designed a house with lots of glazing while still protect-
ing the art from the light.