South Dartmouth, MA

Project scope

New 2,760 sq. ft. home contained in three floor levels

Summer and weekend home on a waterfront lot (a detached two-car garage with guest quarters above is part of the program and site planning but will be constructed in the future.)

Our charge

Create a beach house with garage and guest quarters for a young family, maximizing views to the bay and ocean at the rear of the property for both structures.

We designed the site placing the two structures at the rear. The garage with guest suite is sited tight to the left-side property setback, leaving 38 feet of width for the primary residence.

The narrow space available for the main house, after allowing for the side yard setbacks and view corridor for the guest quarters, suggested a vertical distribution of spaces to maximize exposure to the views. Because of the importance of the stair to link the three floor levels, we chose to express it as an exterior element of the structure. The windows in the stairwell draw east and south light into the spaces that otherwise have predominantly north and west exposure. In addition to light, the windows offer views of the water.

We placed the common rooms (kitchen, dining, sitting and main deck) at the second-floor level for enhanced views. The first-level contains entry, laundry/storage, full bath and three bedrooms — two of which have direct access to a semiprivate terrace on the water side. Here again the stair is an important element drawing visitors up to the public spaces.

The third-floor level contains the owner’s bedroom, full bath, deck and infant room to be used as a home office when the children get older.

Click here to see the project in process.