Amherst Residence


Designer: Samantha Anderson and Ngoc Doan

Once a sleepy farming village, the town of Amherst, Massachusetts has grown in size to meet the needs of a growing population of residents associated with adjacent universities. The heart of Amherst is a small commercial district with neighboring high density residential developments. Located in one of these high density neighborhoods, the site is a double-long property featuring a historic connected farmhouse and barn. The connected barn has been renovated into a yoga studio, while the main farmhouse has been maintained as a private residence. The property must accommodate private family gathering spaces as well as semi-public spaces for the yoga studio. Using the idea of a farm homestead as inspiration, this design juxtaposes a modern sustainable landscape with the historic farmstead architecture common in many small New England towns. Multi-functional outdoor common areas are reinterpreted from traditional farm related needs to accommodate the modern day uses of a mixed use building. The aesthetics and functionality of the landscape merge through material choices and low impact sustainable water management techniques. Stormwater management on site is maintained through site amenities: it is not showcased, but is an integral aspect of the landscape system as experienced through garden beds, walkways and gathering spaces, food production, and long vista views.