Architects: Norelius Studio
Location: Corea, Maine, USA
Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam, PE
Lighting Designer: Peter Knuppel Lighting Design
Builder: Kenneth Thibault
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 130 sqm
Photographs: Kelly Bellis
Context was one of the most influential generators for this project: a down-east Maine village, complete with vibrant, scrappy and true-to-itself working harbor. While many new houses here are built on large parcels of pristine isolated land, these clients had made the more sustainable commitment to build on an empty lot in the village.
The diagram of the house takes advantage of solar gain and views—fortuitously aligned—in each of the major spaces. Since the goal was to keep the house a concise 1400 square feet, the plan became long and thin: literally the dimensions of a mobile home. This allowed private suites at each end of the house, and an open living/dining/cooking space in the center. It is in this center space that blank, well-insulated north-facing walls give way to windows on both sides, creating a virtual pavilion at the core.
The house was lifted up to enhance the views to the harbor, to hover above a handsome granite outcropping close to the street, and to integrate with a previously installed septic system on the rear of the site.
Fairly standard construction techniques were employed to take advantage of the strengths of a local builder. A nearby commercial aluminum dock manufacturer fabricated the “folly” deck and frames for rolling vertical sunshades and fixed horizontal sunshades.
Valuing space and light over expensive finishes and fittings, a remarkably low cost-per-square foot was achieved. The result is a new addition to the village-scape, balancing a tension between familiar and provocative.
Text provided by Norelius Studio