On a very small island connected to a small island by a three-car ferry, on a thin slice of land that spans between a protected bay and the Atlantic Ocean, at the end of a sand drive curling between pitch pines and circumscribing the nearly perfectly hemispherical canopy of a venerable black oak, this house is both sentry and partner to the atlantic and bay waters that encircle it with nearly 360 degrees of ocean.
The sand rises from a wetland adjacent the bay, stretching north, windward, rising to over fifty feet at the atlantic shore, and dropping suddenly beneath a zagging beach stair that traverses back to water level.
Seven bedrooms are tightly stacked together in a two-story block, three north and four south, sunken into the earth and rising as little as possible above bluff height, wood framed and packed with cabinetry and bathrooms, the density broken with light and a view to the forest by a stair and short bridge connecting north bedrooms with south. Adjacent, the stair lights at a floor level midway between the two bedroom levels, and living, dining, and kitchen areas spread across the bluff. Here there is light steel framing, concealed from view, but lifting the planted roof above a nearly continuous expanse of sliding glazed doors, contrasting the density of the bedrooms with a lightness and nearly wall free expanse broken by kitchen cabinets, stone fireplace, and two steps down to the living room sofa. From here, 32 feet of glass opens to the atlantic ocean, and windows in nearly every direction further reveal the landscape or the sea.
Currently nearing completion, the construction process has revealed this landscape throughout the seasons as a foil to the house, a background to its steel frame, an extension to its stone terrace, a constantly changing source of color and texture against which the Western Red cedar walls and stone floors are situated. Nearby, the little wood framed boathouse in the pitch pines fronting the bay is a small woodworking masterpiece, its nearly invisible steel cable railing revealing greying cedar louver walls, wide sliding doors that cantilever out into the trees, and a gently sloping ramp that allows boats to be carried to and from the bay waters.