Text by Nate Berg
For a weekend retreat in Truro, Mass., near the tip of Cape Cod, dense woodlands surrounding the site called for an unconventional approach. To maximize the distant vistas and seaside breezes that flow over the tree line, Cambridge, Mass.–based Hammer Architects turned the 2,600-square-foot house upside down, putting the main living spaces on the second floor.
A long, rectangular building under a gabled roof, the two-story home, which was built by AF Hultin & Co., welcomes those vistas and breezes, particularly through the large screened porch on the east end of the building, which can be opened to the rest of the second floor via a wall of large sliding glass doors. The remainder of the level is wrapped almost completely in windows, and the exposed wood structure inside further blurs the distinction between the home and its woodland environment.
The first floor, with its bedrooms and gathering spaces, is more enclosed and is covered by low-maintenance cedar siding and shingles that will gray over time, further blending into the surrounding landscape. The finishes and materials contribute to a cabinlike atmosphere, but one with all the creature comforts of a luxury retreat.
There is a laid-back, earthy quality to this project, and the floating barn structure is very clear.
— Juror Janet Bloomberg
Architect: Hammer Architects
Builder: AF Hultin & Co.
Size: 2,600 square feet