southern perimeters that not only is an aesthetically pleasant way to cover a
flat roof but also provides insulation and a permeable surface that can mitigate storm-water runoff.
The owners were concerned about using up interior space for a staircase
to the roof, so Foster designed a handsome exterior stairway. “We wanted to
be able to utilize all the space possible for the living area and greenhouse,”
says Walsh, “and Michele’s solution was terrific.”
Knowing the homeowners were architecture aficionados with a particular
love of wood, Foster chose shou sugi ban — charred cypress — for both exte-
rior and interior walls. “It has the same color as red cedar, which is used on
the main house, but it won’t go gray, and the owners liked its industrial char-
acteristics,” says Foster.
In the indoor living areas, Foster used recycled oak with a similar hue to
the shou sugi ban for the flooring. Along the perimeter of the western facade,
she designed a patio made of Ashfield schist, layered stone from Western Massachusetts with a distinctive coloring. “This is a working space,” says Foster,
a simple kitchen area (above) is defined by a
narrow band of cabinets by Martin Woodworks of
West Warwick, Rhode Island. The countertop is
made of a recycled acrylic material by Lightblocks
of New Hampshire. Appliances include a Gaggenau
gas cooktop, Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator
and freezer drawers, sink, dishwasher, and, in a
stacked wall arrangement, a toaster oven,
microwave, and wall oven. The recycled oak floors
run from the living area into the greenhouse, and
interior sliding glass doors (facing page, top)
allow the two spaces to be visually connected even
while their temperatures are separately controlled.
Skylights allow daylight into the greenhouse space,
important for year-round indoor gardening. Foster
used Ashfield schist for the bathroom sink and
floor (facing page, bottom) and shou sugi ban on
the walls. Reflected in the mirror is the clay-red
subway tile on the shower wall.