Contemporary Polynesian Pool House on the Charles

polynesian pool house

Photo by John Linden

A young couple with children asked Charles Rose Architects to design a “contemporary Polynesian hut” for their property southwest of Boston on the Charles River.

timberframe pool house roof

The design called for indoor and outdoor sitting and dining areas; kitchenette; stainless steel outdoor shower; bath/changing area; 1,500 SF deck with in-ground hot tub; and a fire pit with built-in seating. The architect carved out one corner, creating a covered, but open and airy, outdoor lounging area.

Everyone agreed that the new pool house should be wood construction — primarily to match the look and feel of an earlier project the architects designed for the clients, a wood-clad “play barn” with two large rooms, divided by an outdoor space framing views of an adjacent pond. That’s where Bensonwood came in.

pool house interiors

Photo by John Linden

pool house timberframeOur timbered Douglas fir frame supports an asymmetric hip roof whose peak is pulled off-center so that the pool house subtly connects with the geometry of the existing play barn. Our timberframer C.J. Brehio was the job captain, and did a masterful job executing complex compound joinery. Custom concealed steel connections were also used throughout the building. Western red cedar lends rich, warm hues from exposed beams, custom doors and millwork.

complex compound joineryThe stainless steel shower structure was was a built by Alstead, NH welder and metal sculptor Bob Taylor and has a unique sand blasted finish and unique hardware such as flush mounted tapered screws and a big piano hinge for the door.

Other wood used includes: mahogany for the windows; ipe (pronounced “ee-pay,” aka Brazilian walnut); and bamboo. See more photos on our Houzz page here.​

charles river pool house

Photo by John Linden

On the Boards: Cape Cod Pool House

cape cod pool house

In keeping with this month’s “Everyone into the Pool” theme, here is a charming little pool house we are helping fabricate on Cape Cod.

Designed by Rebecca Elsy Ribeiro of D. Michael Collins, Architects, the energy-efficient building features classic colonial carriage house styling with cupola and a sheltered overhang.

Bensonwood is crafting the timberframe, insulated wall and roof panels, and installing the Marvin Ultimate windows and a Marvin outswing bifold door. The timberframe consists of Douglas fir glulam timbers for the main structure and for the exterior timbers​.

Kenneth Vona Construction, a company that very much shares Bensonwood’s values, will be the builder. KVC is not only one of New England’s oldest and most respected custom builders, it is also one of the greenest.

pool house elevationsTheir ideal six-sided building envelope is one that breathes, insulates against losses, sheds water away for sustainability and remains energy efficient and reusable. Like Bensonwood, KVC believes a commitment to environmental responsibility results in immediate payback and comfort.

timber frame design for cape cod pool houseD. Michael Collins, Architects is a small, but high-quality design firm established in Natick, Massachusetts, in 1987. They specialize in new custom homes, additions and renovations, small scale commercial, institutional and historic restoration projects.

Most of the firm’s projects are located in Massachusetts, but they also have projects in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Colorado, Florida and the Caribbean.

We’ll profile more design-build collaborations with D. Michael Collins, Architects and Kenneth Vona Construction in the months ahead.

New from Bensonwood: Architecturally Correct Fire Doors

bensonwood fire doorWhen it comes to our automobiles, we’ve come to expect that safety not take a back seat to design. The form must incorporate that function. However in residential architecture, where architectural details and natural materials can play such a fundamental role in creating a sense of home, the limited availability of beautifully-crafted, architecturally-accurate wood doors that are also fire-safe can too often force a Hobson’s choice of “take it or leave it” and a door that does not match the rest of the home’s interior.

Now, beauty and safety are no longer mutually exclusive. Bensonwood offers architecturally correct stile and rail wood fire doors and jambs, all crafted to the same standards as our homes. Whether for your new Bensonwood or Unity home, or à la carte as stand-alone assemblies, these fire doors are designed and built to meet the highest safety, durability and aesthetic standards in designs that complement the architecture—all while achieving tested and independently certified safety ratings.fire door pdf

Available in a wide variety of styles and customizable designs, these fire doors include: thick, real wood veneers in a broad range of material and pre-finishing options, traditional mortise and tenon joinery and ball bearing hinges. The doors also include Fyrewerks’ cores made by combining intumescent compounds (a substance that swells as a result of heat exposure) with water-based ingredients and binding agents. When exposed to extreme heat generated from fire, the intumescent properties of the core expand to create an inorganic mass at the door’s core. The result is a passive fire-retardant cavity that insulates the door for up to 90 minutes. All of our fire doors and jambs are certified by Intertek for 20-minute, 45-minute, 60-minute or 90-minute fire ratings.

fyrewerks door test viseoYou can watch a video at left of a Fyrewerks door core being tested.

Download a PDF about our new Fire Doors here: Fire Door Pamphlet-2. For more information, contact millwork @ bensonwood.com.