Architect Michael Winstanley isn’t a sailor, but his admiration for the craft of boat-building is reflected in this seaside house. Exterior walls of red cedar, constructed board-and-batten style, recall ship hulls and shack siding. The piers that hold the house up resemble wharf supports.
Cedar cross-beams call to mind a ship mast and boom. In the spirit of boat-making, dovetail joinery is used throughout the house, with little metal joinery exposed.
Building a house on a sand dune involves specific demands, especially when the home has so many floor-to-ceiling windows. The house needs to be raised so that tide surges, wind, and rain can blow beneath it. Plus, there’s the aesthetic challenge of making sure the propped-up house relates to the ground it sits on.
The bedroom windows at the home’s west end have cross-braces of stainless steel rods, which let light in while offering hurricane protection. They’re also a nod to the area’s industrial past.
The interior of the house is filled with touches that honor Cape Cod’s seafaring past. In the foyer is a wall of copper, a material that was once commonly used for joinery in boat-building.
“The light here is incredible,” says architect Michael Winstanley. “In the morning, you get spectacular blues; in the afternoon, amazing reds and oranges. It was really important that the house allow you to feel the light the way that painters do.”