This is a new home, though it’s located in a private oceanfront community that was established in the 19th century.
Due to its history, most houses in the neighborhood are more conservative in design and scale but this home is for a young couple looking to accommodate their growing family and reflect a more modern lifestyle. As a result, the clients desired a modern home that would fit within its historic context while embracing the modest scale of the property.
The design meets these goals by referencing the nearby gabled potato barns which are embedded in the ground. The architects then used a unique structural system to create a false ground plane that slopes up from grade to the second floor, masking the scale of the house when viewed from the street.
While the first floor is dedicated to guests and entertaining, the second floor is reserved for the family and that elevated ground plane that surrounds the family bedrooms is planted with native grasses. Within the plantings, intimate outdoor spaces are created for small gatherings, including a fire pit and spa with views of the ocean. Sloping portions of the elevated ground plane include paths to connect the family areas with the more public entertaining areas at grade.
By referencing the local buildings and building styles, and elevating the ground plane, this large house is rooted into the landscape and becomes a cohesive addition to the neighborhood.