Architect Grigori Fateyev from Art Forms Architecture has created a series of low-impact, sustainable cottages in the idyllic rural area of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The project is comprised of three 2,000-square-foot timber volumes that were designed to be modern, energy-efficient versions of traditional New England barns.

rocky path leading up to home

Almost 10 years ago, a developer purchased a plot of land in Massachusetts that had three timber greenhouses dating back to the 1940s. Wanting to update the structures into livable, eco-friendly homes, the developer tasked architect Grigori Fateyev with breathing new life into the old structures. But the design process led to the replacement of the old buildings with a series of contemporary eco-homes that were built following passive design principles.

Related: A 1940s cottage is transformed into a solar-powered Hanok-inspired home

aerial view of interior living space with living room and kitchen

white kitchen near dark wood dining table with red chairs

The Green Houses include three 2,000-square-foot cottages that were built to be extremely energy-efficient as well as resilient. In fact, before construction began, Fateyev made strategic changes to the landscape, such as elevating the ground above flood levels and creating a terraced catchment system that allows rain to filter through the soil. The surrounding green space has been planted with fruit trees, with ample room left to plant communal vegetable gardens.

large kitchen with island and dining space

sleeping loft with exposed beams

As for the design of the low-impact cottages, their gabled roofs were inspired by traditional New England barns. Within these classic forms lies a modern powerhouse of sustainability. The homes were designed to perform 50% better than most energy-efficient homes in the area. This sustainable profile is made possible through several design features such as an exterior shell made of a breathable rain screen, triple-paned windows, high-performing insulation and natural materials.

a large bathroom with long vanity space and bathtub

entryway with bike storage

From the front door, a beautiful, light-filled foyer leads into an open living space. This expansive area houses a living room that connects to the chef’s kitchen. Exposed hemlock beams provide a cabin-like aesthetic that contrasts nicely with the otherwise contemporary interior design. Polished concrete slab floors run the length of the home and hide the concealed hot water system that runs underneath and supplies radiant heat.

+ Art Forms Architecture

Via Dwell

Photography by Dan Karp and Scott Benedict via Art Forms Architecture

large gray home in snowy landscape