Built to Blend In
Overlooking Maine’s rocky coastline, this summer getaway follows the site’s contours and takes on the color of the forest
Architect Roc Caivano’s clients charged him with designing a new summer house that would preserve as much of the existing landscape as possible—no mean feat, considering the steep site was mostly granite, populated by spruce trees, and hard against a road on the uphill side. The solution involved an 11° bend in the plan (taking advantage of the stunning ocean views) and cedar trellises as siding. Once the clematis and hydrangea mature, the house will look as if it has been there forever.
<p>For most of the year, Hot Springs, Ark., is a delightful place to live. But in the cruel heart of summer, when the hot, humid hammer comes down, it can be unbearable. That’s when Hot Springs natives isabel and John ed Anthony head for mount Desert island on the naturally air-conditioned coast of maine.</p>
<p>They began this tradition years ago and eventually bought an old summer “camp.” This run-down little house clung to the side of a steep, wooded cliff, overlooking one of the most beautiful harbors on the Atlantic coast. But as John ed recalls, “The carpenter ants were defeating our attempts to save it.” The Anthonys eventually decided to tear down what was left of the old camp, and they hired me to design a new home to take its place. Their top priority was to preserve as much of the existing landscape as possible. This was no mean feat. The site is very steep, mostly granite with shallow-rooted spruce trees growing out of the crevices, and hard against a road on its uphill side. not surprisingly, the property is governed by a rigorous list of state and local ordinances that limit the footprint and volume of any new construction.</p>