Text description provided by the architects. This cedar-clad house takes complex site constraints as inspiration to create a dynamic volume with expansive views of the bay.
The site, on a barrier island, sits in a long line of properties that have eliminated sensitive tidal wetlands and replaced native vegetation with lawn and bulkheads. In contrast, this project began with the restoration of the site’s existing wetlands- bringing grasses and native plants through the site from the water to the street. New, stricter regulations, requiring a high flood elevation and an elevated septic system, gave rise to the play of solid massing against open piles.
A concrete mass, housing the septic system, is set against the street edge. This form is carved to create an entry walkway that rises up to house, splitting it into two volumes with a vista of the bay beyond. A narrow boardwalk leading off the deck continues the promenade across the site to the water’s edge.
Large expanses of aluminum curtain wall allow the main living spaces to open onto the elevated deck, forming a large shared public space. Walls shelter this family space from the close proximity of the neighbors. Storage elements and built-in furniture, including a desk and wine-storage wall, are built into the perimeter walls to add to the feeling of enclosure.
Small windows are punched through the protective veil to frame intimate views. At the client’s request the dining room was located closest to the water and oriented toward the sunset. The angled forms allow spaces to capture views up and down the bay.