House On Punkinville Road / Norelius Studio

© Sandy Agrafiotis

Architects: Norelius Studio
Location: Punkinville Road, , USA
Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam
Project area: 2,464 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Sandy Agrafiotis

© Sandy Agrafiotis

The genesis of this project came from the clients, a couple who had lived many years in a treasured 19th century cape, and who sought a significant change in lifestyle. Their deep appreciation of that cape and its particular relationship with its site made them realize that their new site–a spectacular inland promontory on ledge, juniper, and blueberries with extensive views—required a very different architectural solution.


The concept that evolved was a perpendicular stacking of two simple volumes. This allowed a relatively small footprint on a pristine site, and also created useful negative space—a carport below, and an expansive deck above. Furthermore, it guaranteed that the house took advantage of the entire site, ensuring each space its own particular, appropriate relationship to sun, passive solar gain, and views.

© Sandy Agrafiotis

The plan is simple and rigorous, based on the module of a single prefabricated window unit that is used throughout. The entirely- structural system was edited and refined to allow speed and clarity in the construction process. The sober expression of the house responds intentionally to the climatic demands of the site, and is clad humbly in white cedar shingles, the most traditional of New England building materials, and exactly what was used on that cape built a century and a half ago.

© Sandy Agrafiotis

The priority on the interior was to create calm spaces deeply influenced by the seasons and weather. The clients consistently prioritized clarity and generosity of space over luxurious finishes and fixtures. A simple palette of concrete floors, gypsum board walls and medium-density-fiberboard cabinetry makes up the great majority of all surfaces in the house. A remarkably low construction cost was achieved because of the clients’ ability to prioritize goals, the design team’s search for simplicity in both aesthetics and construction techniques, and the builder’s ability to propose alternative, less expensive solutions for aspects of the building.

Cite: "House On Punkinville Road / Norelius Studio" 08 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • æon

    The tiled wall finishing is a great detail, they remember me the chilean southern houses, in Chiloe.

  • up_today_arch

    Back side view with only one window is fantastic…

  • JJ

    I love everything about this house. Nice work.

  • BM

    Nice project! What type of wall shelf units are used in the bedrooms / living rooms?!

    • Ted

      The shelving system is similar if not ISS Designs Hardware

  • Scott

    I like that the house is appropriately massed and exposed to it’s environment. It captures the right views and protects itself from the harsh winters of upstate NY. Very good contextual approach.

  • sudark

    if cost is a significant feature of the design, how much did the building cost per sqm?

  • Lucas

    This house is in Maine! Not NY

    The contractor is Peacock Company