House at Popponesset
House at Popponesset
Brian Vanden Brink
Classic Kitchens & Interiors
This house sits at the edge of a sandy beach. As conceived by Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders, the architectural shapes that create its volumetric complexity appear to be carved from a solid mass, which makes the house seem "friendlier" than some of its boxy neighbors that are smaller in size but have a big impact on the context.
Over-scaled details help reduce the house’s scale. The visually dominant roof and its shapes lend the house a "top heavy" feel, like the great Queen Anne houses of England. Other influences came from "Gothic" American Victorian houses and from the Shingle Style. This house is, however, lighthearted and whimsical as apposed to formal and serious. Like the best Shingle Style houses, it is at once historicist and contemporary.
First floor spaces have an informal layout, with the kitchen at the center around which the other rooms revolve. All the major public rooms open to each another, allowing for casual flow, yet they are also defined by partial walls, ceiling shapes, built-ins, and color changes. The complex plan and massing provide opportunities for multiple exposures and views. A cupola and light shaft deliver natural illumination through the heart of the house. All major rooms have direct or indirect water views. The difference between the irregular plan shapes of the interior and the regular perimeter of the house is mediated by a covered porch facing the street and the ocean.
For the winning submission to the Boston Globe Magazine 2006 Home of the Year competition, our clients described their house in this fashion: "We asked our architects for a house that was as playful as an afternoon at the beach followed by a cookout, a game of pool, and a movie. That is how we use the house, and we wanted a house that reflected it in lack of formality in layout and playfulness in details. We are a family with a distinct personality and we felt that our house should reflect that. It doesn’t look exactly like anything else in the neighborhood, but it sits comfortably among the variety of big and small, old and new cottages, and in the dune grass-covered landscape."