Coastal Maine Residence

This simple modern house challenges the status quo in an historic enclave of shingle-style summer homes. Designed to respond to its time, this house contrasts and creates a dialogue with the surrounding homes and context. Located between two century old shingle-style houses, this property faces east, with a broad sand beach to the northeast and rocky coastline to the southeast.

The challenge was to create a relatively modest home in this neighborhood of grand cottages, where the owner could live with privacy while enjoying the natural beauty of the site. Relatively closed on the public side and open to the views on the ocean side, the owner asked us to design a house that would not feel too large when they’re alone, but would be flexible when entertaining friends and guests.

We created a simple house designed to enhance the ocean experience. Built with a limited palette of natural materials, the building forms are simple. The ground floor opens to the ocean view, exterior terrace, and gardens. The second-floor guest rooms and gallery open to a rooftop terrace and gardens. Designed to take maximum advantage of its oceanfront site, the bi-folding doors open up to create a strong indoor-outdoor connection, with breathtaking views and generous natural light from almost all spaces in the house. The house reflects the tradition of well-made coastal homes in Maine, and is designed to age well over time with special consideration given to a high-performance envelope and minimal environmental impact.