Sea Change

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Sea Change

A contemporary, yet classic home, composed of a main house, a free-standing garage, and a small office. Every structural detail on display does a job and serves a purpose. Materials such as wood walls, metal support beams, and stone accents blur the line between indoors and outdoors. This not only fits into the homeowners’ active and outdoorsy lifestyle, but also pays homage to the history of building in Maine. Inspiration was pulled from a book on Japanese architecture which detailed how traditional Japanese architecture stacks structures in clean, transparent ways. As you enter from the main road, you first encounter a stand-alone garage and office that houses the homeowners’ original Ford Model T automobile on the first floor and work space on the second floor. As the driveway winds downhill, you begin to glimpse the garage (located slightly higher on the landscape) and the house (located closest to the water). There is a carport with an ocean view in front of the main entryway. To connect the two buildings (both visually and physically), there is a cascading covered walkway held up by galvanized steel beams set at an angle. This not only mimics the natural growth of young trees but also provides additional stability against the bracing wind. This house has an agrarian feel. To live there means that you are on the land, that you are outside. You walk from the office to the house; you have to walk to the garage or the garden.

The load-bearing features of the home were used to help define the space and impose a sense of order on the open floor plan. On the first floor, the kitchen is the command center, and the rooms flow logically through the house. The house goes entryway, kitchen, sitting area, lawn, ocean—with no big railings or steps in your way. Ceiling heights and floor levels set the living room apart from the kitchen, with a single long granite step that puts the living area just a few inches lower than the busier realm of the kitchen.