This summer house for a large family is a village-like complex of pavilions sitting on a small peninsula between a long freshwater pond and a marsh. Its size is spread out to keep the scale intimate, roofs low, and the buildings nestled into a scrub oak forest.
The house is an amalgam of New England architecture. Curved roofs and dormers recall Nantucket shipwrights’ homes, while its vertical battening and stick work underpinning overhanging eaves are reminiscent of Victorian cottages on Martha’s Vineyard. The arched windows are at once Gothic and Modern. Stone walls on the site are in the New England tradition, laid in monumental bands.
Inside, painted narrow boards are used to lend a gentle texture to the living room ceiling and the walls of the dining room, guest living rooms, and master bedroom suite. Colored plaster warms the domed entry hall.
The buildings are arranged in two offset arcs enclosing a welcoming arrival court. In the center stands a tower, open below as an entry porch to the main house and enclosed above as a glassy study for one of the clients. The main house is three attached pavilions stitched together by two long hallways. Across the court are two guest houses connected with a breezeway that faces an outdoor pool, which is protected by a stepped fence surmounted with curved trellises.
The landscaping was restored with low-bush blueberry and other native plants betwixt the oaks. Centerbrook received two design awards for the project, including one from Builder Magazine.
Photography © Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Scott Frances