For Mount Washington Residence, McBride Architects use prefabrication to save on costs while going big on functionality and style.
The four-bed, four-bath home of Peter and Sarah Diamond and their two adult children is uniquely situated in one of the most remote areas of the Berkshires: Mount Washington, Massachusetts. Designed by New York City–based architect Nate McBride, who previously worked with the couple on a townhome remodel, the dwelling fades into its environment and provides 360-degree views of the surrounding trees. Having previously lived in Utah for an academic posting, the Diamonds yearned for that “mountain experience” they once had, says McBride.
The concrete-and-red cedar home sits on 12 acres encircled by lush peaks and valleys; a third-story guest penthouse affords unbeatable views. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, a screened porch, and a wildflower garden further connect Mount Washington Residence to the outdoors—and it was all completed on a relatively moderate budget, at least for typical New York standards.
After originally designing a home that would exceed the couple’s budget, McBride had an “aha” moment on the way to work one morning—what about prefabrication? “We had never done a prefab house before,” he says. “It was made in a factory in Pennsylvania and assembled in just 24 hours.” This kept costs 26 percent lower than that of traditional building, while the home, which is constructed of five boxes, still has a tailored feel.
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