High Tide House

Location: Kennebunkport

Architect: Winkelman Architecture

Simplicity of form was a primary design objective for this contemporary dwelling that was to be built on a very limited budget. At its most basic, the house is a “shoebox,” a long, thin rectangle with a flat roof, but with a pop- up second-floor shed roof that allows daylight from the south to filter down into the public spaces. The site’s spectacular setting is on the edge of a ravine that overlooks a freshwater stream as it flows into a tidal river.

The design plan responds to the site with a “bar house,” or a single-loaded rectangular form, which, in this case, offers each area of the house a view of the ravine, the tidal river, and the dynamic change of the waters throughout the day. The entry is on the public side of the house, and the entry axis crosses through the house, looking out to nature and to the river view.

The flat roof of the shoebox has been planted to soften the otherwise hard edges of the building. The effect is a landscape lifted up, onto, and over the building. A high-performance building envelope and high-performance systems were a priority and were achieved within the budget. Simple materials were used in unique ways to deliver a low-maintenance exterior.

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