View Finder

The homeowners desired a main cottage where they could walk out to enjoy the sweeping 180-degree views at their breathtaking oceanside site, without blocking views from an existing guesthouse. In order to meet these criteria, Phelps Architects designed a two-story cottage with dual low-profile gables that are supported by shingle-style posts on flared bases, and that step gracefully down the site to a lower stone terrace that grounds the building.

The lower-level guest bedrooms, screened porch, and family room look through arched, open cedar lattices to an inviting walkout lower level of extensive stone terracing with an outdoor stone fire pit. The walkout space and facade soften the transition from the harsh, ragged ledge of the site to the interior spaces through a layering effect of terrace, cedar lattice, and glass doors and screens, which provide views and allow light to enter. Additionally, arches and porches wrap the corners of the building to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. The open corners let the clients look past the building while also framing their views of the natural surroundings. On both the first and second floor, a recessed area between the dueling gables helps to block severe winds and allows the owners to sit outdoors and enjoy the sun and water in all kinds of weather.

In addition to solving site-related concerns and height restrictions, the architect’s goal was to create shingle style charm, which resonates through the integration of portholes, cottage-hung windows, and shingle flares. While the exterior materials are contextually driven, the interior spaces and overall building form are designed with an open-concept floor plan and cathedral ceilings in order to optimize the sense of space and openness. The main-floor spaces orient around a two-story stone fireplace in the great room, where an open, U-shaped central stair creates an inviting transition to the lower, family and guest level.Because this is a second home, the owners will enjoy the use of low-maintenance materials such as stone terracing, metal roofing, and cedar siding to create a cottage that will serve as a relaxing getaway for many year

Location: New Harbor, Bristol
Architect & Landscape Designer: Phelps Architects
Builder: Williamson Fine Homes
Construction start: July 2017
Construction complete: Spring 2018