The experience of this Peter Rose + Partners residence changes continuously as light passes across concrete and wood. Exterior walls are cast-in-place concrete, set deeply into island sand well above a sharp sea bluff, and taking the form of six boxes arranged together around a long main corridor and held apart by two cross corridors.
From the exterior, viewed in glimpses through the trees, the building appears as a series of concrete boxes set in the landscape. In actuality the concrete is a fragmented armor set against the agressive vegitation and brutal new england winters. Where the concrete exterior meets openings at the interior corridors, a soft, white, and lightly textured Alaskan Yellow Cedar wall, heavily constructed but finely detailed, continues the line of the box, completing the figure within the building interior. Heavy and elemental concrete thus transitions to the illuminated glow of resawn and sanded timber as one moves from exterior to interior.
The two materials, each taking on a variety of qualities depending upon the time and season—one cold, weathered, blue, golden grey, hard, and flecked with the shadows of leaves, the other soft like velvet to the touch, giving an impression of tactile warmth and subtly expressing the craftwork embedded in its joinery—play off eachother, each suggesting something the other is not capable of, each capturing and releasing light in a different way, etching the movement of time and marking the transitional spaces of the home.
The interior glow is intensified in the rooms of the house, clad in a warm douglas fir wall planking and nestled beneath heavy douglas fir rafters that hold the planted roofs above.
Activated by the landscape, the house works by opening vast windows cut from the concrete exterior, and letting the air move through the Alaskan Cedar corridors, carrying the smell of oiled wood and sea salt, amplifiying the sound of song birds and insects, and bringing to the interior the thunder of ocean waves at the bottom of the bluff.