Many of the houses I’ve been privileged to design are in places chosen for their unique locations or views. Others are on ordinary streets in towns and suburbs. Some are primary residences, others second homes. Some are for families with young children, some are for couples, and others are for older people. All have two unique factors: you–the client–and the site. This uniqueness is the primary focus of all my designs.
Yet there are also common factors that are addressed in all my projects:
Quality over quantity: The best designs use space as efficiently as possible.
A good balance between new and old: The latest materials and systems are combined with a respect for the best building traditions of the past.
Respect for the budget.
The spirit of cooperation: A commitment to working as a team with the homeowner and the builder.
Modern Cove House
This second home, currently under construction on the Maine coast, is on a wooded property jutting out into a lovely cove. Due to site setback restrictions, the building envelope was very small—and shaped like a triangle. The owners were fine with a small house, but they didn’t want to settle for a tiny house, so we came up with an unusual solution: a triangular house. The design was done in collaboration with the very talented owners. Their goal was a modern esthetic that would take maximum advantage of the panoramic water views and be extremely energy efficient. The walls are insulated concrete forms, which will be covered in stucco on the outside and plaster on the inside. The roof, with its sweeping overhangs, is built of engineered wood, insulated with closed-cell spray foam, and sheathed in metal. The triangle point closest to the water overhangs a patio and is supported by the chimney of a triangle-shaped outdoor fireplace.
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of designing a primary residence for clients in New Jersey. Now they have done me the honor of having me design another house for them here in Maine. While initially it will be a second residence, they plan on retiring here full time in a few years. The house was to be in the Arts and Crafts style, with 3 bedrooms/office spaces for the owners. Special features include an exercise room overlooking the woods, a golf loft above the garage, and a dog shower in the mud room.
This new house located on a farm in New Jersey has an echo of the Colorado ski lodges enjoyed by the owners. Sited on the side of a hill overlooking a pond and woods beyond, the house is for an active family that enjoys the outdoors. This love of nature and outdoor living is echoed in our use of natural materials such as cedar and stone on both the interior and exterior of the house and in the generous size of family spaces.
This house, located in a fishing village in Maine, is the primary residence for a couple. The lot is small and extremely narrow, but the spectacular views of the water from the second floor make up for it. To take advantage of these views, some of the primary living spaces are located upstairs. In order to fit in the narrow lot, the house is only 24 feet wide. It takes a traditional saltbox form, with the higher side facing the views and the lower side the north wind. The materials are traditional, but the design has a modern flavor. As energy efficiency is very important to the owners, the house features double 2x4 walls to accommodate the added insulation.
New House, Old Frame
This recently constructed house is on the coast of Maine. The owners presented me with an exciting challenge: to design a new house constructed from modern materials around an historic 150-year-old barn frame they had salvaged. This magnificent frame, fully visible on the interior, is enclosed in a shell of structural insulated panels. The exterior reflects the simplicity of the home’s barn origins while also expressing the quirky tastes of the owners. The walk-out basement is made of insulated concrete forms. Banks of windows and a large deck overlook the harbor. A patio at ground level is blended into native granite outcroppings. The double front and rear doors will be fitted with sliding barn doors for winter security in the near future.