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Looking from the fish pier up to PSD's "Windy Brae" house on the bluff.

Windy Brae

For a client interested in both “fitting in” and making a unique statement on their highly visible boulevard-side, bluff-top, harbor-front site, Windy Brae proposes a Shingle Style for today—incorporating a taut skin over a contained plan shape akin to minimalism but bursting, with the use of disparate historical forms, into an iconic object at the roofline. A gambrel gable end, a stair tower, an entry pavilion, and a linear dormered extension are all flush across the front—implied more than fully expressed, and jostling for primacy yet never descending into compositional chaos. On both the street and harbor facades, order is maintained by localized symmetries, balance between horizontal and vertical, and studied juxtapositions using elements at all scales from small to large.

The screened-in porch and basement grotto are viewable on the left, while looking over the pool to the ocean.
Scope of Work Architecture, Construction
Finished Space Above Grade 5,083
Photography Brian Vanden Brink
Summertime looking at PSD's "Windy Brae" project, sitting on a bluff above the ocean.
The front entry fan light glowing at night.
Looking at the back of "Windy Brae" at dusk.

An abstracted fan light, exploded in scale, atop flat representational columns announces the front entry like a sign board.

The home’s actual text sign, “Windy Brae,” is smaller, not as powerful from a passing car, but located to still give the words prominence in the overall composition. Quirky and playful but still classically inspired, the hybrid/mannerist whole is grand but not formal, complex but not complicated, balanced into a happy truce between exuberance and calm. The living spaces are traditionally and efficiently arranged on the first floor and sleeping spaces on the second.

The open staircase is right when you walk in the front door. There are large windows to let in abundant light.
A Mannerist-Classical column, made up of cut-out column shapes in a crossing relationship and set on a diagonal, playfully interrupts the otherwise open space. It is both graphic and sculptural.
Kitchen with a view at PSD's "Windy Brae" project.
Spaces flow from kitchen through dining room to the family room.
The warm, rich but compact study includes a work nook.
Crisp, contemporary detailing at the living room fireplace and paneling.
The primary bathroom has corner windows to the ocean view. It is a relaxing space with a dynamic vista.
The primary bedroom is a relaxing retreat on the second floor.
Red cedar, mahogany, blue stone, and granite finish the screened-in porch, a room that is of both the indoors and the outdoors.
The primary bedroom opens onto a small porch. With its big east-facing view of harbor, island, outer beach, and ocean, it is perfect for morning coffee.

There is one exception to the compact rectangular footprint that stretches out along the bluff for maximum view (and contains the house within limited footprint allowed by zoning and conservation requirements).

A screened in porch projects off one end to provide it with three exposures to light, air, and view. Under the porch, where the grade at the house dips to its lowest point, a semi-circular arch creates a “grotto” for walkout from the space within. Above the porch, a hipped gambrel shaped roof with large overhangs invokes forward motion toward the mouth of the harbor and open ocean beyond.

Multiple readings are possible—columns, representations of columns, segments of a wall.
Large flat columns and a gentle arch provide a frame for a relaxing morning. The view is up the harbor and over the outer beach to the open ocean.
A straight-on look of the front elevation.
The rear elevation of PSD's "Windy Brae" project.

As Seen In...

PSD Chatham Magazine Annual2016 Windy Brae Feature
Chatham Magazine

Dream Design, by Lenore Cullen Barnes, Annual 2016.

PSD Ocean Home Oct Nov 2015 Windy Brae Feature
Ocean Home

Shingle Minded, by Mary Grauerholz, October-November 2015.