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Salt Pond Tee

Harborfront

Salt Pond Tee is a gracious home reminiscent of late 19th century Shingle Style homes that combined shingle-wrapped forms with Classical Revival details. Tucked in between a golf course, a protected salt pond that opens to bay and ocean, and a steep hillside leading up to another house (later purchased by the owner as a guest house and renovated by PSD), the tight site was a challenge. An existing house on the property sat right down on the beach—fun for a vacation house but extremely flood prone. There was also an existing guest house and a detached office. All three buildings were removed and a larger single house was placed up-hill from the beach. Indigenous coastal plantings cover the newly restored bank where the previous building and its parking area sat.

The client asked for street- and pond-facing facades with shuttered windows, giving up the panorama that ganged windows afford in favor of a more traditional Classical Revival influenced Shingle Style. Despite conservation requirements that imposed footprint restrictions, PSD and the owners felt some of the footprint should be devoted to a broad back porch facing the pond. A portion of the porch is screened in. Steps lead from the porch to a large terrace. A gently curving roof defines a slightly projecting wing in the center of which the front entry is placed. At the peak is a whimsical weather vane of a frustrated golfer breaking a club over his knee. PSD took an old club and literally had a model break it over his knee for a photograph on which the ornament is based. The copper incarnation of this moment of frustration is placed where there is a straight shot of visibility (if not golf balls) from one of the tee-offs of the adjacent golf course. Lighter moments are now said to occur at this otherwise challenging spot.

The floor plan is organized around the view. All of the living spaces and most of the bedrooms face the pond. Service, circulation and bath spaces, except for the master bath, are grouped together at the street side of the house. There is a view through the house and out to the pond from the front door. Even the basement game room has a view. The living spaces are open to one another, but defined by ceiling shapes, columns, and cased openings. This provides the best of both worlds—enough openness for casual, social living, and enough enclosure for some of the character of traditional rooms.