Designed as a standalone multi-functional structure, the studio outbuilding was conceived of as a stage set and a “lens for the seasons.” Large and small apertures provide controlled views to the surrounding environment and the interior becomes a canvas for changing light patterns, sky conditions, snow and wind. Part teaching tool - to help educate clients – and part learning lab, the studio is a place made for improvisation and experimentation.
This award-winning design marries the familiar with the unexpected in an unusual site at the edge of a harsh sea environment. Three simple cottages linked by a series of decks make up this summer compound which extends over the site of an existing condemned structure. Inspired by local fishing shacks and wharf buildings dotting the coast of Maine, this retreat interweaves large glazed openings with simple taut-skinned New England shingled cottages. This skin is incised to open views to the sea beyond and relies on light steel framing and thin braces to preserve the simple forms eroded toward sweeping views.
The main ‘wharf’ cottage extends over the tidal salt pond below with a structural steel frame anchored to the pond’s granite basin and contains communal living spaces: kitchen, dining, and living rooms. Linking interior space to the views beyond is a cantilevered deck which appears to float above the water. The flanking cottages contain private sleeping quarters and frame views to the surrounding moss covered forest.
Project Architect/Lead Designer [with Elliott+Elliott] Photos: Tom Crane Photography/Eric Reinholdt
Pond House - Side Elevation - Dusk
Pond House - View from Pond
Pond House - Entry View
Pond House - Deck View towards Pond and Ocean
Pond House - Entry View of Living and Master Cottages
Pond House - Model Overview
Pond House - Master Cottage Deck
Pond House - Living Room View toward Kitchen
Pondhouse - View to Kitchen and Dining
Pondhouse - Fireplace detail
Pond House - Deck meets Granite
Pond House - Dining Room Overlook
Pond House - Ceiling View of Tie Rods
Pond House - Detail View of Column and Tie Rods
Pond House - Detail View of Kitchen Soffit and Tie Rods
Pond House - Detail View of Coat Pegs
House on the Neck
The building is comprised of three volumes, supported by a heavy timber frame, and set upon a terraced ground plane that closely follows the existing topography. Linking the volumes, the circulation path is highlighted by large cuts in the skin of the building. These cuts are infilled with a wood framed curtainwall of glass offset from the syncopated structural grid. Orienting the sheds on an east-west axis provided us with a large south flank to gather daylight. It also served as a means of concealing views to a grouping of buildings to the north. It was our intent to focus views to the varying textures, light conditions and plant materials native to the site while moving back and forth between programmatic components. The movement up and down, through smaller then larger volumes, through light then dark is a richly varied experience meant to mimic the natural surroundings.
Forces of weathering play a prominent role in determining the building palette and the decision to expose the structural system so plainly. The textured surface and color of the shingles closely resembles the bark of trees in the northern woods and the rich, warm tones of the exposed timber frame, its heartwood. The bronze of the weathering copper references the site’s numerous oaks. Wearing deepening patinas with each passing year, the house becomes more and more a part of the surrounding environment.
Project Architect/Lead Designer [with EEN Architecture] Photos: Brian Vanden Brink / Rob Karosis / Eric Reinholdt
Recently featured in the New Small House (Taunton Press 2015) and a 'Dwell Houses We Love' finalist, our modern longhouse was inspired by the Native American Longhouse. Its simple form and low volume shelters and opens views to the surrounding forest. Historically, Longhouses sheltered 20 or more families under one large roof, which spanned 18’ in width by 80’ in length. The singular open space allowed for efficient heating and communal gathering. Our design is a study in simplicity of form using a modern material palette and reductive detailing. Simple, affordable and well designed using readily available durable materials.
Economy informed almost every decision in our design, beginning with the simplest and perhaps most iconic building form, the gable. We were drawn to the fallen birches in the surrounding forest as well as the Native American longhouse within which a singular space made for efficient heating and communal gathering. Our thought was to make everything plain and accessible, easily changed, removed, retooled, tattooed, fixed, and added to. One room wide, the plan invites daylight and breezes with a central living, dining, and cooking space flanked by private sleeping areas on either end. A private core in the center of the building houses storage, laundry and bathing functions allowing a continuous hallway to wrap the perimeter of the building…which doubles as a race track for our two young boys.
The Longhouse - Gable View | Dusk
The Longhouse - Side Elevation View | Dusk
The Longhouse - Living Room
The Longhouse - Kitchen
The Longhouse - Mudroom
The Longhouse - Living Room | Evening
The Longhouse - Dining Table with Wood Stove in Living
The Longhouse - Bathroom Sink View
The Longhouse - Bathroom Tub
The Longhouse - Master Bedroom Freestanding Closet
The Longhouse - Master Bedroom Freestanding Closet - door open
The Longhouse - Master Bedroom Frosted Plexi Cabinet Back
The Longhouse - Master Bedroom and Ensuite Bath
The Longhouse - Exterior and Entry Boardwalk | Dusk
Under Construction...Winter 2017
A residence designed for informal gathering and relaxation on a quiet cove near Acadia National Park. Conceived of as a compound of connected gathering spaces with adjacent private retreat spaces. The "village" of structures is designed to open and close seasonally with large sliding barn doors. These also modulate light, air and views into and out of the cottages.
Carefully positioned to take advantage of the rich variety of views and sloping topography, the cottages have integral terraces and retaining walls to negotiate the undulating land-form. One arrives at the high point of the site and the long barn axis and navigates between the cottages to the main entrance. Once inside, the home deliberately reveals unique views to the ocean, mountains and surrounding spruce forest.
Squid Cove - Exterior Rendering
Squid Cove - Framing Progress Video
Squid Cove - Architectural Design Concept
Squid Cove - Design Concept Sketches
Squid Cove - Design Hand Sketch | Building Forms
Seal Cove Bunkhouses
Borrowing from the image of the platform tent, two seasonal, guest cottages share a linear cedar deck and are grouped in dialogue marking a clearing in the forest. Conceived as a summer retreat for guests of a nearby residence, each cottage is houses distinct yet supporting functions. At the end of the main deck axis sits the larger of the two structures, accommodating a small kitchen, bath, living area and sleeping loft.
The smaller structure contains a screened porch on the lower level and a children’s bunkhouse on the upper level. Sharply pitched gabled forms are devoid of ornament and local white cedar will weather over time to a silver gray without the need for paint or stain. The main level of each building is punctuated by large sliding doors which open and effectively link the interior spaces to the decks and forest immediately adjacent. The opening and closing of these small follies and their large apertures reference their seasonal use and protect the interiors during the winter months.
A whitewashed interior celebrates the simple stick frame construction and is sheathed in locally milled spruce boarding boards whose imperfections enhance the informal nature of the gathering spaces. Industrial light fixtures, simple hardware and humble materials create a relaxed environment where sitting on the deck and gathering with friends take center stage.
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Exterior Entry Overview
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Bunkhouse Cottage and Screened Porch
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Barn Door Flared Shingle Detail
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Clipped Rake Detail
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Gable Elevation
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Woods View
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Barn Doors Closed | Open
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Shingle Detail
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Interior Exposed Framing
Seal Cove Bunkhouses - Ship's Ladder to Loft
fog + brine, cedar + spruce, lichen + moss, sea + sky. Inspiration for our simple, modern residential architecture.
Bald Mountain, Acadia National Park | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Seawall, Acadia National Park | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Pond's End | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Bass Harbor | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Bladderwrack | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Lichen | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Granite Sky | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Red Pine | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Iron Rung, Parkman Mountain, Acadia National Park | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
White on Grey | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Winter's Wood | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Wonderland beach, Acadia National Park | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
River Birch | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Pine, Moss, Granite | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Low Bush Blueberry - Fall | Photography - Eric Reinholdt
Modern Farm Series
Our new series of simple, modern home plans draws inspiration from the classic farmstead. Linked outbuildings were common in farms which were added to over time as the needs of the farm changed. Main houses were connected to barns with structures termed ‘little houses’ and ‘back houses’. The buildings were each carefully positioned in the landscape and near each other so as to shelter against the local prevailing winds, to collect sunlight, and temper the climate surrounding their everyday chores.
Each pod in this series has a distinct function: living, sleeping, specialty and service pods. Each is connected with a flat roofed hallway element. Every pod is further subdivided using a basic set of cabinetry elements, some fixed and some are movable. The advantage this separation offers is two-fold. First, it promotes privacy and the feeling of a much larger footprint than the small structure actually consumes. Second, it allows each pod to be carefully sited and moved to adapt to different sites. Smaller modules allow for a more granular site response.
Additional plans, models and sketches in development. We are seeking a partner to develop the plans, if you're interested please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Modern Farm - Pod Layout One
Modern Farm - Pod Layout Two
Modern Farm - Pod Layout Three
Modern Farm - Pod Layout Four
Modern Farm - Pod Layout Five
Modern Farm Rendering
30X40's YouTube channel has become immensely popular and it's a place I continue to invest my creative efforts each week. In 2017 we're exploring partnerships which will allow us to produce short architectural films. Here's a sampling of some our latest videos. See more of our architectural video tutorials.
Architectural Model Making - Tools
Designing a Small Studio - Concept + Inspiration
Flat roofs and snow - 5 myths busted
Modern Window Trim
Modern Firewood Storage Ideas
Plywood as Finish
Designing the Long (Kitchen) Island
Modern Wall Baseboard
How to Borrow Natural Light - An Architect's Strategy Guide