Ship Locks | Residential Architecture | Caleb Johnson Studio

Ship Locks

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Ship Locks

After searching the Kennebunk area for years, two Midwest executives with grown children finally found a piece of land they loved and jumped at the opportunity to uproot and retire in Maine. They wanted a classic cottage that felt deeply connected to the surroundings, with familiar forms that felt natural in expression.

Embracing setbacks before the start.

Due to setback regulations, wetlands, and subdivision requirements, the parcel they finally settled on was fundamentally difficult to build on. The most substantial challenge began well before the design or build, in finding any single solution that would allow for a 2,500 sq ft home and two car garage. Rising construction costs added to the complexity of a long-awaited coming home. With close communication and collaboration, a solution–striking in its simplicity–was found.

Principal Architect: 

Caleb Johnson

Project Architect: 

David Duncan Morris

Project Team: 

Leah Schaffer, Jessica Jolin

General Contractor: 

Woodhull of Maine

Project Manager:

Leon Genre

A self-aware celebration of place.

Everything was designed to highlight visible materials, joinery, and details, and create experiences that invited the outside in. Classic elements like exposed hemlock beams, cedar siding, were met with more unexpected details, like exposed pegs, decorative posts, and pops of color throughout. Every room of the home has a close connection to the outside world, with an intentional mix of unobstructed sightlines, porches, and covered walkways. What started as a single build solution became an expansive, self-aware celebration of place.

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