Salt Marsh House

Designed by Jody McGuire

with Aaron Amosson as Studio8

The shape of this 1900 square foot house echoes the existing topography and carefully frames views in all directions. The central great room is generous and open, letting this small house act big. The remaining spaces are carefully calibrated to meet the needs of the client. Throughout the house are smaller built-in elements, such as an office nook, two window seats that are sized as twin beds for overflow guests, a plethora of bookcases and an outdoor shower. On the exterior, ship-lapped cedar siding and divided light windows provide a modern take on a vernacular New England palette.

The ecologically sustainable aspects of the house are achieved with low-tech means. In the winter, the low sun pours through the south facing wall of windows and heats the polished concrete floor slab – passively helping to warm the house – while a thick wall of storage buffers the house from northwest winds. In the summer, the south roof overhang shades a wall of windows from direct sun while the large openings capture breezes off of the salt marsh to naturally cool the house. The reflective standing seam metal roof reduces temperature gain, should last as long as the house and will only get more beautiful with time.

Photographs by Albert Vecerka / Esto