Forest House

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Eric and Ann Bohlin House
1973–1974, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Dibble Hill Rd.
  • (Photograph by Michael Thomas)
  • (Photograph by Enrico Ferorelli)

In the rural northwest corner of Connecticut, Peter Bohlin designed a forest retreat for his parents, Eric and Ann Bohlin. Forest House is evidence of Peter Bohlin’s concern for sustainability and the environment. The structure is sited between dark evergreens and bright deciduous woodland, and rests lightly on slender concrete piers above a boulder-strewn landscape. Green-stained vertical cedar siding complements the surrounding trees, and the house is covered with a corrugated aluminum roof. The long and linear structure is only 16 feet in width, and offers a total of 1,880 square feet. Since it rests lightly on the landscape, should it be removed, the site would remain largely undisturbed.

Like his other work, Forest House exemplifies Bohlin’s interest in the processional approach to the house. Here, a dirt path leads to a wood bridge and down a few steps to a covered breezeway that leads to the front door. From the vestibule the house splits into two wings—one wing opens onto a two-story living room, while the other houses a study and guest bedroom on the ground level and a master bedroom and kitchen upstairs. The surrounding green forest is seen through the large, red-framed industrial glazing.

This is the second house Bohlin designed for his parents. The first, a modernist structure on a hilly wooded site in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, was completed with his partner, Richard Powell, in 1966, not long after Bohlin completed his architecture degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

References

Dunlop, Beth. A House for My Mother: Architects Build for their Families. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.

Ojeda, Oscar Riera. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson: 12 Houses. New York: Rizzoli, 2005.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Kathryn Bishop Eckert
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Data

Timeline

  • 1973

    Built

What's Nearby

Citation

Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Forest House", [West Cornwall, Connecticut], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CT-01-005-0001.

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