Long Reach Retreat
2018 HOUSES Readers' Choice Candidate: Harpswell, Maine
Architect: Kaplan Thompson Architects
Builder: Dorsey Construction
This house’s setting called for a design that drew visitors closer to the ocean cove and conveyed a sense of organic modernism that didn’t compete with its peaceful setting in the trees. Long Reach Retreat celebrates the tidal swing of fresh and salt water by leading visitors along a bridge to the water. At the end of the bridge is a poetry studio and a sleeping porch balanced above the cove below. Cedar siding with various textures allows the house to melt away into the trees. The design embodies a warm modernism with stacked-bar forms that simultaneously align with the water and daringly jut toward it. Authentic materials such as copper, tile, and wood are integrated within the interior, flowing from room to room throughout the house. This net-zero-energy home features solar panels, air-source heat pumps, a full fresh-air ventilation system, thermally broken double-stud wall construction, and triple-glazed windows. It’s as efficient and high-performing as it is beautiful.