Sea Sprite - Caleb Johnson Studio

Sea Sprite

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Sea Sprite

For Sea Sprite’s owner, a Mount Desert Island native, nothing is more important than spending time with the family by the coast.

To recreate beloved childhoods spent by the sea with his kids, he sought out an architect with experience designing coastal homes. The task was to ensure the family’s deep ties to the land were blended seamlessly with site-specific architecture on Great Cranberry Island.

Island living.

The biggest challenge posed by this project was resourcing enough materials and hands to accomplish a 1,670-square-foot island build. Luckily, the project’s contractor is a native to the area and had no trouble pulling together everything we needed with the help of the local community. 

Rather than developing a traditional waterfront property, this client was far more intrigued by GCB’s lush inland landscape. The property sits next to pristine wetlands, which made it necessary to sit the home on a strategic portion of the land; natural vegetation allowed the home to blend with the landscaping to maintain the surrounding environs.

An old soul.

By design, Sea Sprite appears – despite its modern appointments – to have been part of the landscape for 100 years. Its three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths form a fairly small footprint nestled in the woods. Long and narrow, the home breathes easily with an open, lower-level kitchen and living space. Featuring a stunning screen porch that barely grazes the woods’ edge, this layout easily suits the comings-and-goings of a family of five. 

A curved dining room and main entryway bump-out add a level of definition and distinction not typically found in longer homes. At the same time, a gable placed asymmetrically on the long side of the home offsets any rigidity. The design certainly strayed from convention, but the easygoing clients were all for the adventure.

Keep it natural.

The exterior of Sea Sprite uses natural materials like cedar siding, hemlock, and stone without leaning too far into a “camp” aesthetic. Each room offers an uninterrupted connection to the forest and outdoors, either through a window or a doorway. This seamless sense of belonging will have the family returning each year with a stronger connection to the island and its landscape than the last.

Design Team:

Caleb Johnson, David Duncan Morris, Leah Schaffer

Builder: 

KSR Construction

Landscape Architect:

Cameron Stone Landscape

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