For every project he designs, there comes a point when architect Grigori Fateyev reaches the bittersweet moment when he must pass off his creation to the client who paid for the project.
Fateyev reached that juncture last fall when the Green Houses development on Humphrey Street in Great Barrington that he designed was completed and the owners of the three distinctive homes he dreamt up for the town’s new co-housing community moved into his living works of art.
“Eventually you come to the point where the project is finished and you need to photograph it to essentially hand it over to the client,” Fateyev said. “So you do have a sense of ownership, but it’s ultimately your client’s house that they get to enjoy for a long time afterwards.”
Formerly the location of the Edward B. Dolby Florist shop, Fateyev says the site on the banks of the Housatonic River had fallen into disrepair and was in need of a makeover when developers Bobby Houston and Eric Shamie of the Great Barrington-based Hauswork Design purchased the property eight years ago.
The developers envisioned an eco-friendly housing development on the site which had once been covered by greenhouses owned the flower shop, which opened in 1955 and closed a decade ago. The co-housing model is intended to increase sociability between the development’s residents, said Houston.
“We like to have meals with our friends all of the time,” he said. “We thought there could be a way to design that into your lifestyle so that everybody is not driving 20 or 30 minutes all over the county. We started to have meetings with our friends about co-housing and it seemed like the sensible way to go forward.”
Houston and Shamie live on site and own one of the new houses in the development. The married couple hired Fateyev’s Art Forms Architecture firm to bring the project to life.
Subsequently, Fateyev designed a trio of 2,023 square-foot private homes that were built from scratch. Two additional remodeled properties at the bottom of the hill lead into the housing development. The three homes were constructed at the same time last fall and the project was wrapped up in October.
The timber-framed cottages of the Green Houses project are designed to evoke the charm of classic New England barns. Each home features an expansive master bedroom and a second loft-style bedroom.
“It was based on a traditional barn structure, but simplified and much more minimalist,” Fateyev said.
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