with the barn door open and swings at the ready
(facing page), the farmyard is framed like an
American Impressionist landscape. Peter Moore of
Little Compton, Rhode Island, fabricated the steel
fireplace chimney (right top). An enclosed porch
(right bottom) looks out over Quicksand Pond.
considered themselves “lucky to be part of someone else’s history,” says the husband, but ownership meant “it became family.” They commuted
to New York for many years, earning the capital
that allowed them to transform the farm into a
permanent home as well as a trust for their heirs.
(They have a grown son, who visits often from
his home in San Francisco, a daughter, who lives
on an adjacent horse farm, and one grandchild.)
The enthusiastic landowners recall their
home as having a “ramshackle quality, mothballed by rust.” Long worked by a tenant farmer,
it had received few upgrades over the years.
Some architects counseled the couple to raze the
house and build a mansion, or they could have
subdivided the land into building lots. But this
unspoiled peninsula deserved conservation —
and to be made better than they found it.
“Intervening with sensitivity” was their
goal, says the husband, and they launched a
search for “the best architect in the world.” Setting out to educate themselves about architecture, they considered the work of hundreds of
architects and extensively traveled to see important houses. They requested information from
250 firms, whittled the list to 50, and eventually
to 10, before choosing Bohlin Cywinski Jackson.
Founded in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, 50
years ago, BCJ, as it is familiarly called, also has
offices in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Seattle, and
San Francisco. Behind spectacular commissions,
like the flagship Apple Stores, Pixar Animation
Studios, and the home of Bill Gates, is a distin-
guished record of university and corporate work.
Principal Peter Bohlin, who was awarded the
Gold Medal of the American Institute of Archi-
tects in 2010, says: “All our work is about mak-
ing things for humans, how we can be thoughtful
Arguably, BCJ’s best work has been residen-
tial, and Bohlin was the ideal partner for a two-
decade relationship with his Rhode Island clients
that began in 1997 with the renovation of the 1894
farmhouse. The exterior of the unpretentious four-
square structure was restored to what it looked like
at the turn of the 20th century, while the interior
was refashioned with modern open spaces.