The Story of A House
Welcoming you to travel though history and the designing and building process in Hancock, Massachusetts.
In 1997, our clients made the decision to expand their business. They needed a location that was easily visible and accessible for deliveries. Shortly after this decision, they found a house with pastoral and mountain views. They bought it immediately.
Knowing and trusting our work, they came to us. We took their ancestral backgrounds and passions and expanded on them. The owners became a Finn-Russian explorer and his Scottish, artist wife. They also loved Utilitarian buildings, particularly late 19th century barns. The vision was born! The house would be a circa 1910 carriage barn and tack shop converted into a Berkshire summer home for our clients.
The main house has the ambience of a Scandinavian/Russian 'dacha'. How we laughed when we realized these clients must have been friends of the Russian painter, Marc Chagall... Hence, the 'Chagall' range hood painted by an artist who specializes in reproducing masters. The design keeps the private spaces of the home back from the road.
When the original house was gutted, it was completely apparent that it had been a one room school house. We went to the Registry of Deeds and found that it was Hancock School No. 4 and it was built in 1842. We learned from a local historian that it had also served as a stage coach stop and tavern. This explained the layers of 'treasures' we found while excavating. From the 1950's 'Bubble Up' soda bottles to dozens of horseshoes in various sizes and old liquor/medicine bottles to thick, glass ink wells and iron toys.
Of course, our clients wanted to preserve as much of this history as possible. The former rafters and plank ceiling were exposed. Walls were plastered and the wing became a conference room and guest suite.
We added a second floor for office space and all agree to have the house 'time travel' as though the original owners had handed the property down to children and grandchildren. Most old homes have this evolution. We kept the 'utilitarian' doors of the tack shop and surrounded them with glass to access light and views.
The story of this house is a time continuum of a circa 1900's dacha to an 1880's library to an 1842 tack shop and a millennium studio and office. All flowing cohesively together and a testament to the truly adventurous natures of our clients.
And, what astonished them was that they reluctantly needed to sell the house nine years later and made over one-third of their investment....