Located on a rocky hill with commanding views of the surrounding beaches and landscape, this house is designed to be sensitively integrated with the landscape while still capturing the power of its prominent siting. The site itself is located in the Wingaersheek Beach community, in close proximity to Cape Ann, which is known for its fine granite quarries. The orange color of the mined granite is found throughout the region’s buildings, walls, ramparts, and parks. Powerful geological forces have, over time, created fields of granite with a strong directional quality. These forces, and the direction of the rock formations and outcroppings, are still evident in the building’s site.
Because this design had a relatively modest budget, the method of construction was kept deliberately simple. Two boxes of different sizes were off set from one another, and oriented to relate to the direction of the rock formations so as to appear as if they arose from the rocky landscape. Retaining walls, rock outcroppings, and other surfaces help anchor the building to the landscape.
Because the views of the surrounding landscape improve with height, the living spaces are on the top (third) floor, while bedrooms and support spaces are on the first and second floor. The rooftop has a small penthouse and spacious deck, offering commanding views of the coastline of Northern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Southern Maine to the north and west, and Cape Ann to the east. A cascading stair creates a clear and direct means of ascent through the house. The dramatic yet subtle use of natural light and the use of rich materials and custom designed / crafted details, add richness to what is an otherwise simple series of spaces, while never distracting from the extraordinary qualities of the site.