HGA Architects have designed a group of cottages ( Marlboro Music Cottages) to provide senior musicians accommodation at the Marlboro College campus in Marlboro, Vermont. Since 1951, generations of classical musicians have participated in Marlboro Music, a seven-week summer festival where young musicians collaborate alongside master artists on the tiny Marlboro College campus. These cottages serve as residences for senior musicians during Marlboro College’s seven-week summer festival, Marlboro Music. Sited on 15 acres in Vermont’s Green Mountains, the design of the cottages was inspired by the Cape Cod cottage, a 400-year-old typology derived from 17th century English settlers’ dwellings in New England.
The small footprints, sloped roofs, compact volumes, and indigenous materials fit snuggly into the lush Vermont landscape of rolling hills and streams and respond in a modern contextual way to the farm buildings on Marlboro College’s campus. The home retains many of the rustic aspects of a barn – exposed brick walls and wood beams, and other wood accents – but is thoroughly reformed to serve as a comfortable home in the countryside. Housing senior musicians on a15-acre site adjacent to campus, these five cottages find inspiration from the campus vernacular, reinterpreting the familiar Cape Cod forms of gabled roofs and unadorned walls into a modern expression that still blends with the setting. Inside, large operable windows frame views of the forest and fill each room with daylight.