Vermont Structural Showcase

This beautiful remote residence designed by Flavin Architects is filled with drama—exposed rugged structural elements, soaring interior volumes, and a densely wooded Vermont mountainside setting.

Flavin’s initial concept for this project combined the warmth of amber firewood beams with columns reinforced by wood siding and trim. After determining that the size of the timber beams required to support the open interior was larger than the design called for, Steve and his team worked with the architect to identify alternatives. The final plan integrated compact steel beams which both contrasted with and complemented the timber elements so well that the architect and owner decided to leave this structural feature exposed.

In this home, a narrow fireplace interrupts an entirely glass wall. This detail made it challenging to brace the side of the building against wind forces. Steve and his team suggested enhancing the fireplace to make it function as a structural element, and they coordinated with the architect to design an exposed “board-formed” cast-in-place concrete detail. This fireplace was such a good fit within the overall aesthetic that it became a featured piece of the architectural design.

This building would always reveal its timber structure. Through excellent dialogue and teamwork between architect and structural engineer, it showcases steel and concrete as well in a blended composition of materials that enhances the building’s architecture.