The diminutive hillside campus of a school most famous for its summer music festival has a core of Colonial Revival buildings and 1960s frame chalets. However, it announces its year-round vitality and commitment to new ideas and regional values with a set of modest-budget but dynamic recent buildings, epitomized by Daniel V. Scully's mortarboard-capped addition to the library (2003) and Turner Brooks's Hilton House. Brooks was an ideal choice for this dormitory, tucked into the woods at the northern edge of the campus. Throughout his career he has focused on sophisticated residential buildings of modest scale, a vernacular-inspired vocabulary, and witty formal manipulation. The simple building with flush vertical wood siding and red walls and blue doors consists of four suites, each with kitchenette, and all opening to a meandering “back alley” and social space. Each suite is articulated on the front of the building, either as a separate town house–like pavilion or by a break in facade angle, emphasized by a strongly shadowed eaves line and by random window placement that denies horizontal continuity. A unified shed roof plays against the building's irregular footprint and cascades down a rear staircase. It reduces the scale for the more intimate and glassy rear (lounge) facade that turns its face to a woodsy clearing. The result is an unpretentious, idiosyncratic statement in community living and relation to natural site.
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Hilton House, Marlboro College
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