The traditional style and personalized details of this lakefront home are typical of my work. Simple sketches and models at the beginning of the design process helped the homeowners get a sense for character and spatial relationships. More detailed drawings defined specific spaces and finally showed how the house was to be built.
Many details were a collaborative effort with owner and builder. Mockups were built in the field from sketches, then digitally photographed and emailed to owner and architect for comment. Final decisions were often made on site over early morning coffee.
As seen in DownEast (November 2004), Fine Homebuilding (May 2005), and Builder(October 2005) magazines, and The New Wood House by James Grayson Trulove (2005).
Breaking it Down
As seen in Maine Home + Design
The Drawing Board – July 2015
The clients, longtime summer residents of Long Island, sought a new home to accommodate their multigenerational family that was inspired by the charm of their current summer cottage. The prime building spot on the steeply sloped site, bounded by a bench-height ledge and a side-yard setback line, overlooks a rocky inlet and marsh. To break down the mass of the house into cottage-scaled pieces and to frame the southwesterly view, architect John Cole designed a screened porch and master bedroom as separate pavilions set on large wooden piers reminiscent of local fishermen’s shacks. The ledge is used to define a path leading from the uphill main house entry and under the screened porch to a downhill terrace and the shore beyond.
Before and After
The clients fell in love with this lakefront lot, but not its 1970’s ranch house which suited neither their lifestyle nor their taste. The challenge was to extract some value from the structure while making it suitable for entertaining large groups and transforming its look.
These before and after photos tell the story. Net savings for re-use of the existing structure was over $100,000.
As seen in Lake Living (Fall 2012) and Down East (October 2013)
Designed for a View
As seen in Maine Home + Design
The Drawing Board – March 2014
This retirement home is set on a gentle slope with a 120-degree vista over a windswept salt marsh. The house responds to the setting with a long horizontal bar stretched along the slope with plenty of south-facing glass to capture the panoramic view from the major living spaces. A perpendicular bar houses service spaces: mudroom, garage, and workshop. Wide overhangs shade the glass in summer while allowing winter sun to penetrate deep into the interior. The building envelope, designed above building code standards, has an additional layer of insulation on the exterior face to prevent thermal bridging. After a round of concept sketches, the design work was completed using physical models, both exterior and interior, to help the homeowner visualize the house.
I believe the most powerful design tool is still a pencil. Whether to capture a thought, explore an idea, or describe an environment—nothing beats a good old 2H. Computers are useful to create 3D models and technical drawings, but I always start with a sketch.