I need a beach house, and this one, sitting on a narrow strip of land on the island of Chappaquiddick near Edgartown, Massachusetts, ir perfect.
Of course, sad to say, it’s also a wee bit large—though maybe I could get the Reader’s Digest version—and comprised of four different structures: a 6,300 square-foot main house, a 630 square foot garage, a storage shed, and a boat house. I could probably do without the shed … because it’s so relaxing, with the ocean on one side and a bay on the other.
The home was built on the site of an older house, that was razed to make room for this home and some changes to the site. The site strategy involved moving the road from the middle of an existing meadow to a new location, winding through an oak and pine forest and ending in a hidden courtyard near the garage. Then you walk along the boardwalk, through the trees, to the house, sited far enough away, that the driveway and garage simply disappear.
The main house has been strategically located to optimize the experience of living in the home, and outside, while minimizing the impact on the environmental. For instance, the boathouse—and I never thought I’d need one, but now I want one—sits on four concrete columns among pine trees, but was constructed without ever touching a branch.
The house offers remarkable views of Nantucket , the sunrise over Cape Pogue Bay , the ocean and Edgartown, and the sunset over the water. The house was built low to the ground and clad in sealed, unpainted wood to naturally weather over time to recede into the landscape.
Naturally, it’s not just pretty, it’s also environmentally friendly; behind that natural wood cladding is a system of rigid insulation to withstand the hardiest of nor’easters. And where the façade lacks wood, it contains fully operable windows, created by a local craftsman who uses a technique that allows corner windows to open completely, and large panels of glass to slide open along the exterior façade of the building, leaving nothing but the view and the breezes. These window openings work with the home’s radiant heating and cooling, vastly reducing the cost of HVAC equipment. The home’s southern exposure fills the interior with natural light, maximizing solar heat gain and minimizing electrical consumption, while green roofs—covered in sea grasses—provide roof insulation, improve air quality and biodiversity, manage rainwater, and reduce noise.
As I said, it’s quiet and peaceful and seems almost a part of the land. If only there was a smaller version ….
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