Interior DesignersSybille Schneider, Sophia Chang
Mechanical EngineerSun Engineering
Civil EngineerBSS Design
Structural EngineerRichmond So Engineers
Landscape ArchitectsStephen Stimson Associates
LightingClinard Design Studio
Text description provided by the architects. The Cove House embodies the client’s desire for a contemporary house that is respectful of both the New England vernacular and its immediate neighborhood. The form is an adaptation of the massing and materiality of the classic saltbox typology that meets the standards of the historic district commission while also satisfying the clients’ desire for a distinctive home.
The site is marked by a shallow ravine that was previously home to the historic Webster Rose Garden. While the gardens were lost decades before, the original retaining walls remain, and the garden was replanted with native plantings that provide erosion control, animal habitats, and storm water attenuation. Today, visitors cross this garden on a new footbridge spanning from the parking court to the front entrance of the house.
The form was inspired by the sailing ships that once anchored in the neighboring harbor. The house is created from a sequence of volumes that are linked below grade. The existing slope of the site allows for the two primary volumes to nestle into the landscape, presenting a low presence to the street while exposing the full height of the house to the ocean. The massing defines an upper utility court and kitchen garden, and a dynamic interstitial space that frames the ocean view.
Alaskan yellow cedar shingles typical of the Cape Cod vernacular further integrate the home into the existing streetscape. The ocean façade uses extensive glazing to maximize the views with a wood louvered rain screen to minimize solar heat gain. Board-formed concrete retaining walls and fireplace mass anchor the building to the landscape.