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Locally Sourced Eastern White Pine a Natural Choice for Green Vermont Cottages

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Every summer, 80 master musicians with decades of experience arrive at Vermont’s Marlboro College for a seven-week festival inviting them to collaborate with young students. The Marlboro Music event has been a tradition for over sixty years, and to properly honor their most senior guests, the college commissioned HGA Architects to create a series of five sustainable cottages in the woods, each one featuring interiors clad almost entirely in Eastern White Pine.

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The result is a showcase of rustic modern style, blending into the surrounding woods and encouraging total immersion in their tranquility. The architects wanted to tread lightly on the land and focus on the preservation of native tree species, hence their choice of Eastern White Pine, which is locally grown and milled.

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Taking a cue from Cape Cod style, the architects devised steeply raked roofs with copper snow cleats and slate shingles, angling down to meet seven-foot sidewalls. Inside, the expansive open plan shows off the natural beauty and warmth of the lumber and plywood.

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One cottage measures 1,445 square feet with two bedrooms, three measure 1,620 square feet with three bedrooms, and a fifth is 2,335 square feet with dormitory-style bedrooms.

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“Inside, large operable windows frame views of the forest and fill each room with daylight,” says HGA. “Locally sourced white pine walls and ceilings and Vermont slate floors compose a simple yet durable palette of natural materials, reinforcing an interconnection between music and landscape, exterior and interior.”


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