The Crib Rocks

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Today prize-winning architect Jeff Broadhurst unveiled his Crib, a modernist cabin, at the Mansion at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland.  Based on a cabin he built for his family in West Virginia, this updated version is a mix of warm wood and cool galvanized steel combined in a contemporary fashion. It takes its name from the common corn cribs that dot the agricultural landscape of the Mid-Atlantic, which are small wooden buildings constructed of slats to allow corn to be stored and dried.  For this crib, though, the slats are a heat-treated poplar that looks like walnut or teak and is weather and rot resistant.  The building is designed as a kit of parts that can be easily transported and quickly assembled, and by standing on four piers, it can be built in nearly any terrain.  Unlike most cabins that are dark and claustrophobic, the Crib’s high ceilings and translucent walls make it spacious and airy.  Plus one wall opens like a garage door, stretching the living room onto the porch.  If you’re interested in sustainability, its materials and construction incorporate many features that require less energy, conserve water, and reduce pollution and exposure to chemicals.  It’s a very clever and beautiful design worthy of Sunset magazine or Architectural Digest, and ideal for a couple or small family that wants to live simply yet stylishly.  It’ll be on display at Strathmore for two years and used as a studio and gallery for several of their artists-in-residence.