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Marlboro Music: Five Cottages

HGA Architects and Engineers

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Project Description


Since 1951, generations of the world's most talented classical musicians have participated in Marlboro Music, a seven-week summer festival where young musicians collaborate alongside master artists in an environment removed from the pressures of performance. Located on the tiny campus of Marlboro College in the foothills of Green Mountains in southern Vermont, Marlboro Music encompasses music and a communal way of living where musicians, staff, their spouses and children share meals, seminars, chores and social events, creating a unique musical community.  The New Yorker magazine calls Marlboro Music "the classical world's most coveted retreat."

The design is inspired by the classic New England Cape Cod, a 400-year-old housing typology that also served as the primary inspiration for Marlboro College's centuries-old farm buildings.  The program includes three 2-bedroom cottages, one 3-bedroom cottage, and one 4-bedroom cottage. The two- and three-bedroom cottages house a single family while the four-bedroom cottage accommodates four unrelated musicians sharing a common kitchen and living room.  The cottages also include a small basement for mechanical and storage.

Material and furnishings are durable and comfortable to withstand rotating seasonal residents, while a kitchen island with stools substitutes for a formal dining room as musicians generally dine at the college's dining hall.  When the festival ends in August, Marlboro Music rents the cottages to college faculty for the academic year.
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