Charles Brewer is a vacation-house architect with a new kind of roof over his head, a roof composed of triangular modules, instead of rafters and sheathing. The isosceles triangles are strong, inexpensive stressed-skin panels, 12 feet at the base and eight feet high, prefabricated of fir structural members and plywood, bonded together like a Head ski. Brewer's houses combine these triangles into a remarkable domestic geometry of gables and slanting walls. His own ski house, in Vermont, shown on these pages, was built for $10 a square foot. The panels sweep down to windows set directly into the floor. In Connecticut he has adapted the system to a boat-loving family's waterside house (pages 34, 35) that is something else again.
The sharp jut of the roof is well suited to the snow conditions of southern Vermont, where Charles and Cornelia Brewer (left) and the children spend weekends skiing.
The concrete chimney in living room (below), decorated with friends' initials, is strategically placed to block the cold air that comes from the door directly behind.
The Vermont-slate floor is always warm—a cheap, efficient radiant heating system buried beneath it heats the house in the depths of winter for $52 a month.
February 19, 1968
Waterside house (left) owned by Mr. and Mrs. H. Smith Richardson Jr. works for a family with six children and four boats. There are three fireplaces, three staircases and six bedrooms, each with a deck and a view of Long Island Sound. The children's room (above) has four bunks on the upper level, behind the flag at right. Walls, inside and out, are of local stone combined with South Carolina cypress.
The living room (right) is divided into two areas by a gold-colored stone fireplace that opens on each side. A quiet corner, where Adele Richardson is playing the guitar, is lighted by a triangular skylight. Four Richardson children play Monopoly on the living-room deck (below). A system of decks leads down to the pier and dock, where the family keeps its fleet of boats. Golf and tennis are just across the water.