Marshview Guest House
Marshview Guest House
2,100 square feet (interior)
3,150 square feet (perceived)
Brian Vanden Brink
John DaSilva, PSDAB
Although this house is used as a guest house, it is about 500 square feet larger than the owners’ primary house (see House on Harper’s Island). (Hyperlink to Page 1.1.15) Footprint restraints similar to the Island House limited Polhemus Savery DaSilva’s design of this house to the exact size and location of an existing house that was removed. Although it is used in conjunction with the Island House, our clients sought a distinctly different feeling for this project, both inside and out.
Because of the visibility and close proximity of neighboring houses that are mostly shingled cottages, our clients were interested in a more traditional house for this site. A sloped roof was possible here, where the height restriction was thirty feet, rather than the thirteen feet of the Island. Double hung windows with divided lights were also used to evoke a more traditional house. The scale of the windows, roof overhang and flared shingled base are exaggerated, however, to both bring the scale of the overall down and to and to make the house more elemental in the image of "home" that it projects. This is the first of our small houses with big scale.
A feeling of connection from the Mainland House to the Island was important to our clients. The traditional location for a front door, facing the street, was not used here in order to align the entry sequence with the bridge to the Island. The front door faces the side of the house and the stairs to the ground curve out to align the bridge with the entry. The sequence that connects the two houses was enhanced by the landscape design and by an archway that we designed and built. The archway incorporates benches for seating and was conceived as a whimsical garden folly that would sit comfortably between the very different styles of the mainland and island houses. The "feet" are attached to the ground by cast bronze "shoes" that are designed, with tongue-in-cheek, to look like a child’s drawing of a frog’s face peering out of the adjacent marsh. Wave like volute shapes playfully exaggerate the ends of the arms.