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    About

    A modern residence, located in Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard, that embraces sustainability
    Published:
We were commissioned to design a family vacation home on a site in Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard, adjacent to an agricultural area and with distant views of the Atlantic Ocean. The house site was limited by a unique deed restriction which set the maximum height of the structure at six feet above grade on the uphill side of the building. The design responded to this restriction by sinking the upper floor into the grade along its north side and stepping the two floors of the house down 
the existing slope. To capture the view of the ocean and surrounding landscape, a roof deck was set within a flat, planted roof. This strategy preserved the view-sheds of properties further up the hill.

At first our clients imagined a house which embraced the vernacular forms and materials of the island. However, as we worked with the building envelope restrictions our clients were convinced that a contemporary architectural form would best suit their needs and aesthetic sensibilities, while addressing the unique hillside site.

The immediate site and distant views, the quality of light and shadow are at the core of the design. The building’s angular shapes and overhangs are responsive to the form of the land and the need for interior shading to reduce glare and create a luminous interior. Multiple terraces, including the roof, offer a variety of vantage points and places to gather as a family. Cedar shiplap, a material that links the building with its historic context, clads the exterior. The interior is a mix of wood, metal, and stone: white-washed, wide-plank white oak; limestone; granite; walnut; and tile.