Text description provided by the architects. Responding to its beachside meadow setting and the relaxed island spirit, this family retreat is crafted with lasting materials and comfortable spaces that capture and celebrate the ever-changing views, light, sounds, and breezes. Vernacular components are distilled to their essence and a Scandinavian sensibility blends together with the casual context of Martha’s Vineyard.
Designed to be at home with its unique surroundings, the house is clad in the region’s typical cedar shingles and the massing is broken down into multiple smaller volumes that settle into the landscape. Generous apertures and a breezeway formed by the two main volumes harness the nearly constant south western breezes allowing the family to enjoy the house without the need for air conditioning.
The house is elevated 3 feet above grade to protect from future sea level rise while taking advantage of the views. The semi-inverted plan, which places the living room upstairs with an outdoor deck, along with a split level ground floor enable inhabitants to enjoy the stunning western views from almost anywhere in the house. Windows wrap the house’s corners providing expansive views in every direction, along multiple axes and view corridors, creating an experience that is powerfully connected to the landscape and sunlight.
Natural materials that perform well in the coastal environment are used throughout, including reclaimed heavy timber framing, copper roofing, and untreated exterior materials that will patina over time. Inside, the play on woods in neutral tones, soft greys, and pale whites respond to the Vineyard light. Bolder finishes on the main floor interact with the gardens outside while softer hues and fabrics upstairs respond to the sundrenched light and calming views to the beach and meadow.
Five porches, covered and open, and an irregular floor plan with plenty of nooks and alcoves to nestle into allow the family and their guests to find a relaxing spot in the sun or shade at any time of day.