The South Coast Rhode Island neighborhood in which Peace of the Rock is situated is largely flat—a coastal plain punctuated by large glacial erratics. Like these boulders, houses also sit as objects on the plain. We have added another object, but this one has a playful attitude appropriate for a family that uses it for summer vacations. Compact gambrel roofed cottages—vernacular shingle style designs that look like they were built in the first few decades of the 20th Century—are common in the neighborhood.
|Scope of Work
|Finished Space Above Grade
|Brian Vanden Brink
Sailboat cut outs in the shutters and a huge bass weathervane welcome visitors and announce the seaside location. Corner towers book-end the gambreled form and close off the ends of the wraparound porch.
A second floor deck spans between the pavilions and offers ocean views directly to the south and diagonally to the southwest between other houses. The deck is accessible from the second floor hall and the primary suite and via an exterior stair. Outdoor stairs often look like afterthoughts. They are a design challenge, especially on a site where blocking view is undesirable. Here we pulled the stair away from the façade and put it at an angle, making it more sculptural and blocking less of the adjacent screened in porch. Decorative arches make the underside of the stair playful and appealing but also brace the structure for stability.
Living, dining, and kitchen are open to one another, while circulation is separated by a paneled wall and openings. Simple wood coffers help define and give character to the spaces.