By Nigel F. Maynard A skillful reinterpretation of the traditional Craftsman-style vernacular, mixed with a splash of contemporary elements, this custom home garnered a Grand Award for thoughtful execution inside and out. The house sits among a loosely related group of nine houses on a cluster-zoned island road that boasts turn-of-the-century traditional New England-style homes. Mary Dorsey Brewster of Brewster Thornton Rapp Architects designed the groups, replicating the scale, massing, and cedar shingle siding of surrounding area homes.
To create a neighborhood feel in this idyllic seaside development, Brewster massed each house perpendicular to the road. She pulled the garage away from the house, creating positive outdoor space and
maximizing daylight around the house. Instead of leaving a conventional empty front yard, Brewster positioned the house and the garage to produce a street-facing side yard defined by a shingled wall, which carries the house detailing to the street. On the inside, the kitchen dominates the space. "It was designed to be the focal point inside the house," Brewster says. As such, it is well appointed with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and white oak cabinetry. An adjacent dining area made a separate dining room unnecessary.
The kitchen/dining space opens to the front porch on one side; on the other side is a screened porch with a soaring Douglas fir timber ceiling and a Rumford-style fireplace. "The house gives people a lot of private spaces," Brewster says. And the large and open public spaces reinforce the intimate private ones.
Category: Custom home, less than 3,500 square feet; Entrant/Architect: Brewster Thornton Rapp Architects, Providence, R.I.; Builder/Landscape Architect: Suburban Renewal, Jamestown, R.I.; Developer: Bluestone Inc., Providence; Interior Designers: Brewster Thornton Rapp Architects, Providence; Suburban Renewal, Jamestown
Shingle All The Way
Shingles on a Craftsman-style residence might seem like an architectural clicheacute;, but the material offers design options if you look hard enough. "The shingles gave us the design flexibility to add detail not possible with other building materials," architect Mary Dorsey Brewster says. Special details on the gable ends, the exterior wall, and the 2-foot wall give the project extra character and add visual interest.