An exposed section of rocky New England coastline provided both challenges and opportunities when we designed the new site plan for this historic house. The site is vulnerable to storm surges, and the house sits entirely within the buffer zone of the coastal bank, less than 12 feet above sea level. The iconic 1938 house by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer had numerous alterations over the years. One alteration included the addition of a sprawling concrete terrace that blanketed the ground plane on the entire seaward side of the house and extended beneath the span of the building’s second floor. A simple and clear landscape plan, in deference to the structure’s spare geometric volumes, was designed with a goal to break the ground plane expanse with a variety of textures, including wood decking, stone terracing, native coastal plantings and lawn. A subtle pattern in the stone terrace helps define a pathway to the seawall and new stairs to the beach.
Collaborators: Axiom Architects
Images: Dean Kaufman