An Ode to the Ocean

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.”

What the owners like best about the house is that it "offers both a feeling of privacy and a connection to the environment." The home has 180-degree views of Provincetown Harbor.

Join the Discussion

Please read our Content Guidelines before posting

Close X