It all started with a humble camp perched above the Slocum River in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Our clients had the vision to see the potential in this modest sized house, and the view that it would command, with a little bit of selective tree thinning. The house appeared to be a prefabricated house of some kind, as the front door and entry steps faced not towards the approach or driveway, but towards the rear of the property. While this “front” did face the view, nothing else about the house design suggested the majestic landscape that it was sitting in.
The House “as found,” with reverse orientation of front door
Our design began with a focus on making the house more site-specific, opening spaces to each other to create an open plan, turning compact rooms into interconnected and expansive spaces. After some debate over window size, it was decided to remove the entire wall of the house and replace it with an expanse of glass that would maximize the connection to the outdoors.
an early sketch on trace - one of many
Ethan Smith Carpentry from Rhode Island was selected as the General Contractor, and work began in February, in a sprint for the summer, when the house would host family gatherings. The house was temporarily supported, while the facade was surgically removed. A steel moment frame was fabricated to re-support the house in the most efficient way possible, maintaining maximum sight lines for the new glass wall.
facade removed and steel ready to go in
Meanwhile the interiors were extensively renovated with two new bathrooms, a new kitchen, all new lighting, and finishes, and a new color palette. The central stair was opened up to two sides, serving as a central focal point to the interiors. The owners enjoyed their first summer in the home this summer.
All below by the talented Nat Rea of Nat Rea Photography. See the final pictures here
from the embankment
one of the renovated bedrooms
dining to living
view from the fireplace