Sheffield Residence by Of Possible

  • Berkshire Residence by Of Possible

    New York City-based design studio Of Possible take us through their latest project in Sheffield, Massachusetts, set in an old orchard where the owner’s childhood home once stood.

    Of Possible was founded by architect Vincent Appel, who sought to find a balance between the poetry of space and building science, with a breadth of work across architecture, industrial design and large-scale public art.

    Vincent and his team were called on to devise a new build in Sheffield, Massachusetts, that blended traditional New England architecture with advanced modern building practices. Culminating in a contemporary articulation of rural American architecture, the home is veiled in a sense of slowed-down serenity and built to last for generations.

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    The outdoor area features the Gyrofocus fireplace by Dominique Imbert, Wyeth Nigerian Tribal chairs and Restoration Hardware Suar low table. Bluestone was selected here for its chalky blue-grey appearance, extending on the tones of the polished natural concrete floor inside.

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    With glazing on two sides that open up to the green surrounds, the living space features Seagull Sleeper Sofas by Vincent Cafiero, Kia Sar rug by Warp & Weft, Pyramid tables by Harvey Probber, the Bong side table by Giulio Cappellini and Reclaimed Oak coffee table by Restoration Hardware.

    The original two-storey home from the client’s childhood still stood on the site, but was relocated nearby for the client’s sister as it was deemed ‘unsustainable for late-life living’. While they removed the original home to start from scratch, the client wanted to engage with their memories in the surrounding landscape; of being in the apple orchard, in the leafy-green garden, the red barn and the surrounding wetland to the south of the home.

    The clients had a vision for the home to be wrapped in glass, but also wanted it to feel as though it had always belonged to the established landscape, in a more traditional architectural sense. The Of Possible team took inspiration from flat-roofed pavilion homes and their subtle lines, like the famed Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. They conceived the facade to be made of ‘continuous vertical cedar plans with no intermittent seams’ with a low-pitched gable roof, where large outdoor terraces frame the surrounding landscape. 

    Western Red Cedar was specified for the cladding to naturally blend in with – and not distract from – the verdant surrounds and will patina into a silvery finish with age. Super-insulated walls overhang the foundation, designed to appear as though the home is unobtrusively floating on the site. 

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    The kitchen features Hauteville counter chairs by Lyon Beton. Designed for avid cooks, the kitchen also includes a Gaggenau induction cook top and teppanyaki integrated under a custom kitchen hood.

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    Pictured here is the foyer looking to the library, where the Seagull Side Chair by Vincent Cafiero sits on white oak flooring.

    Of Possible carefully orchestrated the seamless relationship between the interior and exterior. Exterior terrace ‘edges’ unfold out to create outdoor areas – the most striking being to the south of the home, where the Gyrofocus fireplace by Dominique Imbert creates a place to gather in the cooler months. Bluestone was laid as the foundation for this outdoor space as an extension of the blue-grey natural concrete in the communal areas of the home. Reverberating the client’s vision for a glass-wrapped house, floor-to-ceiling glazing acts as ‘tall picture frames’ inside, both of the wetland to the north and orchard to the south. Motorised exterior shades keep the home cool in summer months.

    The interior scheme is restrained, where the ever-changing landscape deliberately becomes the focal point in each space. The sober palette of materials was sourced locally and selected for its sustainable and long-lasting qualities. Referencing the exterior, timber millwork features in the communal areas on the natural concrete base and white oak flooring was selected in many of the private areas. The all-white kitchen doesn’t distract from the garden outlook, with concealed Gaggenau appliances incorporated for the client’s love of cooking.

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    In each space, you’ll find a curated selection of furniture and objects. A few key pieces have been sourced from Restoration Hardware, as well as Hans J. Wegner’s CH25 Chair and PP501 dining chairs that reaffirm an appreciation for authentic design.

    The Sheffield Residence is a conceptual home, sensitive to the location’s history and the environment it exists within. Where the interiors are shaped around ‘picture frames’ of the surrounds, Of Possible have honoured the client’s childhood memories and created a thoughtful base for more to be made. 

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    A standing seam metal roof references nearby agricultural buildings.

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