Designed in 1940 by world-famous architect Marcel Breuer (with an assist from Walter Gropius), Chamberlain Cottage was derelict when architects Sidney R. Bowen and Angela E. Watson brought it in 1995.
“We were looking for property along the river when we discovered it and realized what it was,’’ Bowen said. “There was never any question in our minds that we had to save it.’’
Indeed, they did. The bought the 600-square-foot cottage and expanded it, using Breuer’s style as inspiration.
A stone fireplace still occupies its place in the cottage, but its surroundings have changed. Where the space once served as a bedroom, galley kitchen, and dining and living area, there is now a 21st-century kitchen with an electric cooktop fitted into a rectangular island of granite, a stainless-steel exhaust hood, a breakfast counter, and a door that opens to reveal a large walk-in L-shaped pantry.
Just past the fireplace, soot-stained from its decades of service, is the keeping room. From here, a three-step stairwell with curved-plywood railings transitions from the Breuer cottage to the space Bowen and Watson created — now the bulk of the home.
The architects’ design touches include standard carriage bolts screwed into black support beams, a concrete interior koi pond, and sheets of copper blanketing the walls, pushing the eye from room to room like sentences on a chalkboard.
The dining room, at the top of the stairwell,flows into the living room, which connects to the screened porch (once attached to the Breuer cottage but relocated to the right side of the house). The library is in an alcove to the right.
Clerestory windows run the length of the gallery, or central hallway. Even more light pours into the main rooms of this property, through walls of windows whose casings frame the natural surroundings. The next-door neighbor, which announces its presence with a small sign visible from inside the home, is Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
Two bedrooms, a mudroom with a laundry, and a full bath complete this floor. Halfway up the stairs, the landing leads to an office space. The stairwell rises again into the master suite. The bedroom space is large and boasts its own set of clerestory windows, a full bath with a double vanity, a whirlpool tub, a separate shower, and a big walk-in closet with built-in cabinetry.
The two architects sold the home in 2005 to its current owner, who has left their design largely intact.
The lot is 7.8 acres, and it takes about a minute at a slow clip to travel the dirt driveway from Moore Road to the house. It takes far less time to walk down the sloping backyard to a path, the banks of the Sudbury River, and the gorgeous scenery the river basin and the nature preserve provide.
Veronika R. Breer of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty in Cambridge is the listing broker.