Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
Search

Burr & McCallum Architects

Williamstown, Massachusetts

Regions Served

  • Boston & New England

Services Offered

“Burr and McCallum fitted the house to the land like moss to a stone” wrote architecture critic Robert Campbell.

“Frank Gehry meets the Shakers” is how former Dean of the Yale Architecture School, Thomas Beebe, once described our work.

These two quotes describe what we strive for in our architecture. It must start with a strong connection with the site: physically, historically and emotionally. And from that beginning emerges invention. We love to use old materials in innovative ways. We update traditional construction methods that have proven their worth over centuries with new materials and current energy conservation techniques. History is our friend and our inspiration.

We have been in business since 1982, always from our home base in the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts. Ours is a country practice, leading happily to a wide variety of project types, including schools, museums, shops, and the mainstay of our practice: houses. Our work has been recognized internationally through publications, exhibitions, and awards.

Franklin Andrus Burr, FAIA, received his B.A. at Williams College and his M. Arch. from the Yale School of Architecture (1970). Andy is a registered architect in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Ann Kidston McCallum, FAIA, received her B. A. from McGill University and her M. Arch. from Yale School of Architecture (1980). For many years she taught architectural design at Williams College. Ann is a registered architect in Massachusetts and New York.

Gallery

 Costley House, Williamstown, MA
Costley House, Williamstown, MA
 Mitchell/David House, South Egremont, MA
Mitchell/David House, South Egremont, MA
 Leopold House, Williamstown, MA
Leopold House, Williamstown, MA
 Mitchell/David House, South Egremont, MA
Mitchell/David House, South Egremont, MA
 Costley House, Williamstown, MA
Costley House, Williamstown, MA
 Berkshires House II
Berkshires House II
 B&L Building, Tunnel City Coffee, Williamstown, MA
B&L Building, Tunnel City Coffee, Williamstown, MA
 Berkshires House XIII Photo: Michael Lavin Flower, click here for more photos
Berkshires House XIII Photo: Michael Lavin Flower, click here for more photos
 Berkshires House VII: An adventurous pair of houses for two brothers, avid fans of New England industrial architecture. This one creates an exterior recalling the narrative of old mill buildings developed over many decades. The exterior is gritty, the interior refined. Photo: Click here for more photos
Berkshires House VII: An adventurous pair of houses for two brothers, avid fans of New England industrial architecture. This one creates an exterior recalling the narrative of old mill buildings developed over many decades. The exterior is gritty, the interior refined. Photo: Click here for more photos
 Egan House, Sugar Hill, NH: Located on a steep site and built for clients with a tiny budget and a wonderful sense of adventure. Color and inexpensive materials such as corrugated steel siding, bamboo flooring, sliding barn doors, inexpensive cable railings, and painted stairs, were used inventively throughout. Photo: Click here for more photos
Egan House, Sugar Hill, NH: Located on a steep site and built for clients with a tiny budget and a wonderful sense of adventure. Color and inexpensive materials such as corrugated steel siding, bamboo flooring, sliding barn doors, inexpensive cable railings, and painted stairs, were used inventively throughout. Photo: Click here for more photos
 The Porches Inn at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA: Directly across the street from Mass MoCA, the largest contemporary art museum in the country, and designed from a derelict row of worker houses, this elegantly funky inn now provides lodging to hundreds of Berkshire visitors each year. The guest rooms all have different color schemes and are decorated with local car travel memorabilia, 40s TV lamps, and material salvaged from demolition or designed to pay homage to the generations of factory workers who lived in these houses. Photo: Click here for more photos
The Porches Inn at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA: Directly across the street from Mass MoCA, the largest contemporary art museum in the country, and designed from a derelict row of worker houses, this elegantly funky inn now provides lodging to hundreds of Berkshire visitors each year. The guest rooms all have different color schemes and are decorated with local car travel memorabilia, 40s TV lamps, and material salvaged from demolition or designed to pay homage to the generations of factory workers who lived in these houses. Photo: Click here for more photos

Details

Contact

Principals

  • Ann K. McCallum and F. Andrus Burr

Locations

  • 720 Main Street Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267

Featured Projects

Art Collections & Cantilevers

This residence with three bedrooms and two studies is focused around a spectacular contemporary art collection.  We had to balance the clients’ desire for long stretches of wall space protected from UV light, with their wish for plenty of windows to see the views.  Design Solution: The house is composed of three bars. The main bar with living spaces one room deep enfronts the view.  A second bar contains garage, mudroom, and laundry. The third bar hovers above and perpendicular to the main bar and contains the guest rooms. This forms a covered area on the terrace, ideal for dining on summer evenings.

Photos: Michael Lavin Flower

Sustainable Design Elements

Board formed concrete walls extend from this house to protect the drive and entry from winter winds and openings in these walls frame the view. The exterior cladding is Vermont slate which we found to be comparable in cost to clear cedar clapboards, and much more economical in long term maintenance.  Sustainable design elements include triple glazed windows, super insulated walls and ceilings, and geothermal heating and cooling.

Photo: Michael Lavin Flower

Inspired by History

Berkshire vernacular architecture has always inspired our work, which borrows heavily from houses, barns, and old mills of the area.  This project marks the first time we have stolen inspiration from the saw tooth roofs of the many moribund mills of the Berkshires.  Anticipating the possible future use of a wheelchair for one of the children, the family elected to have the living area all on one level. This absence of a second floor gave us the opportunity for top lighting, and the saw teeth allowed us to bring direct shafts of south sun into all the major rooms, in spite of there being no southern exposure.  A truss made up of a combination of metal rods and a heavy timber king post supports each saw tooth.

Photo: Ann K McCallum

Sawtooth Roof & Natural Lighting

This house is featured in the Remodelista article A Civilized Factory by Lydia Lee:

The overhangs on the sawtooth roof are lined in red, a bright zigzag on an otherwise soberly attired building. The steel-framed factory sashes refer back to a time when there was no plate glass. “The small panes give the building a human scale,” says McCallum. “Before there was electricity, you wanted to get as much natural lighting into interior of these big factories, so sawtooth roofs were used to create these ribbons of light through the middle.”

Photos: Ann K McCallum

Fun & Funky Interior Details

An interior ‘garage’ door bridges the dining area with the porch, and an array of red tool boxes serves as a unique kitchen island.

Photos: Peter Vanderwarker

Palladio Award Winner

Simple, recognizable forms are used here in unusual ways. The 2,000 sq. ft. house is bisected along its long axis, the north side with masonry walls and small openings, and the south side with open columns and a porch. Spanning between them are the living spaces, “perfect” platonic solids which are allowed to penetrate the roof and to bring in light. Winner of the 1989 Palladio Award.

Capturing the Sun

Natural conditions drove the forms of this rural house on a windy hillside. Capturing the warmth of the sun is particularly important in a house used primarily in the winter, but it is challenging when the views are in every other direction. Three barn forms are connected with simple sheds, forming a south-facing courtyard. A second courtyard faces west, with a south-facing “sun-catcher” porch. High windows in the mezzanine and a large south-facing skylight contribute to solar heating.

Photo: Michael Lavin Flower

Among the Birches

A magnificent stand of birch trees gave us the opportunity to create an interesting entry sequence.  On arrival, you find a large opening through the barn-like guest wing which frames a view of the white tree trunks against a background of deep forest.  Walking up the ramp in this opening brings you to a sheltered, south-facing courtyard and the front door.  Virtually all rooms in the house receive direct sunlight in spite of the fact that the best views are to the north.

Photos: Michael Lavin Flower

Peaceful by the Pool

Our clients needed a small swimming pool to lure their children up to the country. Utilizing an existing steep slope dropping away from the tennis court, we avoided a code-mandated pool fence.  Where the slope up to the tennis court would make the differential less than the required 4′, we raised the stone walls up to a height of 8′ above the pool deck.  These higher walls create the supports for the roof of the porch, which works simultaneously for tennis watching and pool lounging.  A solid door in the stone wall completes the structure and evokes that Charleston porch experience of surprise at opening a door not into the expected front hall, but back outside.

Coverage on Remodelista & Gardenista