Pleasant Bay is the largest salt water estuary on Cape Cod. It spans four towns and includes numerous coves, tidal rivers, ponds, harbors, marshes, islands and beaches. It has been an environmentally-rich and special place at least as long as recorded history of the region has existed. All types of houses occur around it as well, from modest low-lying beach houses right on the sand to large bluff-top shingle style manses. Our client found a large bluff-top site with an existing house on it and requested we replace it with an up-to-date shingle style home inspired by such classics.
Several requirements from the client and the site drove the form and siting of the house. A significant portion of the property was encumbered by a neighbor’s view easement and could not be touched, and some magnificent large trees were present, for which preservation was desired. As a result, the house stretches across the width of the buildable portion of the property. A driveway defines one edge of the front yard/playing field, the garage forms another, and the main house with a parallel driveway a third. The driveway passes the front door, goes through a porte-cochere that connects the garage to the house, and then behind the garage to the parking bays. Garage doors are hidden from the street and from the rest of the house and front yard.
Two classic shingle style gambrel roofs run perpendicular to the main body of the house and flank an entry porch with two stout, robust columns. A hip-roofed dormer—with an arch-top center window and two tiny side windows—highlights the center above the porch and caps off the orderly but not too formal entry area. A third gambrel defines the garage that is set off to one side. A continuous flared roof overhang brings down the scale and helps shade the first-floor windows. Sinuous lines created by arches and brackets balance the linear geometry of the main mass of the house and are playful and fun. A broad back porch provides a covered transition from house to landscape and frames sweeping views.
Inside, a grand entry hall with a curved stair and balcony above sets up entry to a sequence of spaces that stretch out parallel to the shoreline. Living, dining, kitchen, breakfast nook, study, screened-in porch, all bedrooms and some bathrooms take in the spectacular bay view. A rustic brick and stone fireplace warms the living room and recalls the finely detailed chimney that anchors the west end of the house outside.