TIME OUT HOUSE

  • Description

    Located on a rocky shoreline in the Atlantic Ocean, at the entrance to the Alewife Brook in Maine, the Time Out Beach House exemplifies the exquisite juxtapositions of our world today. The site was carefully chosen in order to incorporate a naturalized realm into the house. The design engages and gives back to the site as a habitat; the site’s northern side is carefully sculpted for hatcheries under the house where a fishery accommodates the female alewives that used to be plentiful in Maine. Chambers define the space: bedrooms, living room, kitchen, apartment, study, sauna, fish deck. The east side captures the ocean’s ambience and funnels it into the house, exchanging sensory experiences and providing a welcoming sense of place. Meanwhile on the southeast side an outdoor eating room contains a floating platform, which also functions as a table, with the sounds of the ocean washing up under the house. A piano is located on the north side of the east chamber room and a chaise is placed alongside the wall to listen to the sounds of the ocean. The heightening of the senses reminds one of the uniqueness of place. The house faces north and south for maximum solar orientation benefit and has a heavy insulated green roof that can only be accessed from the most private of spaces: the bedrooms on the third floor. The pristine roof garden is limited, controlled, and precise.  It insulates the occupants and is accessed only when needed to view or desired. The primary winds come from the southwest and from the oceans. The house is oriented to capture these breezes for cross ventilation. A fireplace is a source of heat that rises throughout the house in the winter. Grey water is collected, stored, and reused for irrigation and plumbing, fostering ideas of depending on the land, interconnection of building and site, and embodying sustainability as a methodology for exchange. A cistern is maintained under the house, the site carving has enabled the burying of the cistern. On the west side, spiral-cut birch is used as a siding that wraps into the interior, the stone, and the concrete interior for thermal insulation and warmth. This birch has its origins in the interiors of Maine’s boat building industry and the toothpick industry. The main source of light is on the north side, where an insulated glass façade of c-channel glass provides constant filtered daylight and selective views. Local stone is used in various ways, polished, rough and sandblasted. Large stones emerge from the ocean and the entire site is considered a sieve to the ocean.

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