Water’s Edge

Located on a steep lot at the ocean’s edge, this “upside down” house has two bedrooms and a private ocean deck on the lower floor, and an open plan living space on the upper floor. The living and dining rooms have matching cathedral ceilings with floor to ceiling glass to take advantage of the views of Ipswich Bay, which extend from Cranes Beach up to the New Hampshire coast.  The street side portion of the site was radically transformed to resolve the sloping grade, including a sunken grotto and garden patio that are protected from the north east winds and provide an active social space connecting the home with the neighborhood.  A walking bridge, made of rot resistant IPE wood and galvanized structural steel, spans dramatically over the sunken garden, connecting the sidewalk and driveway to the 2nd level front entry door.  Because an important aspect of the design was sustainability and energy efficiency, we chose prefabricated wall panels that provide advanced air sealing and 12″ of dense pack, blown-in cellulose insulation.  Solar panels on the roof generate electricity for the heat pump water heater and air handlers, and a solar docking station was installed in the garage to charge the owner’s electric car.