2021 RDAA | Custom Accessory or Outbuilding | The Berry Bowl | Haver & Skolnick Architects

An aviary designed to keep birds out—that was the inverted vision for this bespoke berry cage, the crowning touch to a large vegetable garden on a 73-acre farm. “In the back of our minds were the structures done in the 1880s by French Revolutionary architects such as Boullée and Ledoux,” says Stewart Skolnick, AIA. In lieu of elaborate nets that can entangle birds, the domed, tubular structure sits on a low Connecticut fieldstone wall, preventing birds from feasting on the tender strawberries and several varieties of blueberries that yield all summer long.

Measuring 24 inches in diameter and 17 feet high, its 2-inch-diameter steel tubes are bent to form concentric circles that support the steel mesh. “We had to make sure the steel mesh had at least ½-inch openings so the bees could come in and pollinate the blueberry and strawberry bushes,” Stewart says.

Part functional, part folly, the airy structure terminates the axis of a roughly 55×110-foot vegetable garden. On its periphery are iron rod armatures that support espaliered kiwis; inside, a massive dish suspended from the top holds flowering perennials, which are irrigated from tubes concealed in the steel structure. “We deliberately designed the bowl so it would rust and have an amber patina,” Stewart says. The judges deemed it a sweet success.


Custom Accessory or Outbuilding

Citation  

Haver and Skolnick Architects
The Berry Bowl
Washington, Connecticut

Project Credits

Architect: Stewart R. Skolnick, AIA, and Charles R. Haver, AIA, Haver & Skolnick Architects, Roxbury, Connecticut

Builder: James Churchill, Churchill Builders, Woodbury, Connecticut

Landscape Designer and Installer: Ron LeBlanc, Grass & Gardens, Southbury, Connecticut

Engineer: Kevin Chamberlain, DeStefano & Chamberlain, Fairfield, Connecticut

Steel Fabricator: Dom Rubbo, Leo’s Ironworks, Bethlehem, Connecticut

Project Size: 452 square feet

Site Size: 73 acres

Construction Cost: Withheld

Photography: Robert Benson Photography


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