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Berkshire Family Compound

Cross a covered bridge over the Konkapot River, pass a red barn and the caretaker cottage, follow the land's arc as it rises through rolling green fields with fruit trees until you reach the crest of a hill. Here, on 298 private acres, is a contemporary masterwork by world-renown architect Tom Kundig. In collaboration with acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, Kundig has created a bold, innovative, yet intimate home where line and form embrace light and the landscape. Set on a spectacular parcel of land in Berkshire County, facing sunsets over the Taconic Mountains, this astounding property includes two guest cottages, a caretaker's home, luxurious 6-stall barn, paddocks, indoor and outdoor riding arenas with olympic-grade footing, climate-controlled storage facility with office, and a Paradise Garden for flowers, fruits, and vegetables just a short stroll from the house. Truly a property unlike any other. The Creative Team: Designed for two art historians, the property's creative team included two multiple award-winning architects: American Tom Kundig (main house) and Tom Stuart-Smith from the UK (landscape). Their designs were carried out by Berkshire-based master builder Peter Whitehead. Kundig, a principal in the Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects, has won numerous professional honors; his commercial and residential work has been the subject of international exhibitions and has been published worldwide. He lectures internationally and frequently serves on architecture and design juries. Reflecting on this residence, Tom Kundig, Design Principal; "Set on three hundred acres of rolling Berkshire landscape, the first challenge of the project was to find the perfect building site from which to experience the surroundings. The choice was the ecotone the border between two adjacent ecological systems. The house stretches along the line where the forest meets the meadow. The building is thin enough that each room, as you move through the house, balances a feeling of interior refuge with distant prospect views... The living room is lined with hand-cranked operable window walls. When completely open, the sensation is akin to being in an elegant and comfortable tree fort, hovering above the landscape." https://olsonkundig.com/projects/berkshire-residence/ Stuart-Smith, who opened his firm in 1998, focuses on creating modern, naturalistic gardens and landscapes, which include his own property, The Barn Garden at Serge Hill. His much-awarded work has earned him a place among the top garden and landscape architects in the UK. Virtually a household name among garden enthusiasts, he works all over the world. Whitehead's residential building projects in the Berkshires and elsewhere have earned him a reputation among the cognoscenti as a detail-conscious contractor who executes his assignments flawlessly. The result of the creative labors of these three consummate professionals are perfectly realized in this extraordinary Southfield property. The Main House: As you approach the entrance from a pebbled courtyard rimmed by native shrubs and paper birch, the house greets you with a view of green fields and mountains framed between concrete columns. The intriguing, massive pivot door, faced with rolled steel, sets the tone of building architecture at once functional and playfully engaging. On the entry level, a sculptural steel frame staircase, bathed in natural light from above, leads to the upper floor and serves as the focal point of the foyer. To the left, an intimate media room with closets offers casual hang-out space. On the right, one of Kundig's trademark "gizmos" a mechanical hand-cranked wheel-and-pulley system that operates a dumbwaiter, an introduction to the modernist, industrial sensibility found throughout. On this level, you'll also find a wine cellar, half-bath, laundry, and two-car garage. Ascend to the open-plan great room to fully appreciate the seamless flow of indoor-outdoor living and to greet the view from its most dramatic vantage point. Here, multiple window-walls operated by hand-wheel pulley systems can be fully opened to the fresh, clean Berkshire breezes. Sun shades and screens, operated electronically and artfully hidden above the cedar ceiling, enable the space to become like a bug and glare-free tree house. A civilized, comfortable space from which to gaze at nature: the mountain view, forests, swimming pond, and horse paddocks. This space, with its 11-foot ceiling, is bisected by a two-sided fireplace and adjoined by a music room with dropped ceiling. Also part of the open plan, the kitchen is divided into an entertaining serving space, equipped with Viking range and SubZero refrigerator, and a sleek work area that can be hidden from view. Floor-to-ceiling rolling doors allow the galley to be closed off from guests. Extending from this public space, a hall leads to an office, two bedrooms with en suite baths and a primary suite with a generous walk-in closet and soaking bath. Every room in this breathtaking residence enjoys a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape. The Guest and Caretaker's Cottages: Grouped on the opposite side of the picturesque swimming pond from the main house, two cozy cottages offer sleeping for 8-10 guests, modern kitchens equipped with Viking ranges and SubZero refrigerators, hardwood floors, newly-renovated baths, and privacy for guests. Down below, near the covered bridge, a historic caretaker's cottage comprises 2 bedrooms, also newly renovated bathrooms, modern appliances, and a farmhouse porch. Storage Facility: Currently used for art storage with climate control, this former garage has an office, a half bath, and ample square footage for cars or adaptive reuse. The Barns & Equestrian Facilities: The property's entrance is marked by the covered bridge and large 19th-century barn, still in use for sheep and donkeys that grace the lower pasture between the river and the caretaker's cottage. A new horse barn with six 12x12 box-stalls with dutch doors, wash stall with heat lamps, tack room, laundry/storage, feed room and hay loft. Nearby are a large indoor riding arena, and up the hill is an outdoor arena, both with mirrors, ideal for dressage practice. Some nine fenced pastures and paddocks are strategically located nearby and elsewhere on the property, while miles of riding trails lace the woods. Other Features: A "secret" fenced garden with traditional parterre and espaliered pear trees, a campsite on a ridge, a spot for fishing and wading in the Konkapot river, a multitude of trails for riding, hiking, and snowshoeing are only a few of this estate's noteworthy amenities. And did we mention the fireflies, the red-winged blackbirds that come to the river, the mourning doves near the walled garden, and the occasional blue heron or bald eagle overhead? The ease and pleasure of a country escape.

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Elle Villetto

Elle Villetto

Real Estate Salesperson