The house is an assemblage of small volumes, providing nearly all spaces access to natural light and dramatic views.
A variety of window styles recalls the vernacular of New England farm buildings.
Living spaces blur the boundary between inside and out.
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Private Residence
Nantucket, Massachusetts
Designed within strict Historic District Commission guidelines on the island of Nantucket, this collection of grey-shingled buildings sits on a private site overlooking the Atlantic Ocean to the north and conservation land to the east and south. The family wished to use the house as a vacation retreat year-round and accommodate visitors and family members while retaining a sense of privacy and enclosure.

The complex is composed of three main buildings—the main house, the guest house and the garage—organized by two courtyards. Arriving in the main entry court, visitors glimpse the ocean beyond, but the full view of the sea is revealed as guests move into the private quarters of the interior courtyard. A lighthouse-like tower marks the main entrance and beckons visitors within.

The main house is composed of four volumes and organized by an exterior walkway that links the forms. Each element appears as if the additions occurred over time and works together to provide a soothing rhythm of open space and buildings. By breaking down these elements and connecting them with smaller passages, windows and large expanses of glass are maximized. A variety of window sizes adds to the facade composition, echoing the tradition of farm homesteads.

Interior walls and ceilings are a combination of poplar tongue-and-groove board and batten, with horizontal reveals and matched boards. Interior surfaces are painted in a soft, consistent high-gloss palette to reflect light and create shadow depth throughout the day. The interior is also unified by an abundance of natural wood materials. Dramatic scissor trusses, clear maple floors and brick fireplaces form a natural complement to the painted surfaces and add to the visual interest of interior surfaces.

COMPLETION

1996

SIZE

6,500 SF

AWARDS

Boston Society of Architects, Housing Award

PHOTOGRAPHY

Peter Aaron/ESTO

OTHER PROJECTS