Designed by architect Caleb Johnson of Biddeford, Maine, our best new house succeeds admirably in balancing traditional expectations and contemporary demands. The house sits on the north side of Granite Point, a chunk of ledge that juts out into the North Atlantic; as a result, the house is deeply influenced by its maritime surroundings. Its traditional cross-gable form is modernized with unexpected curves-a gentle one shapes the front of the house-and discreetly placed openings that frame only the best views. A curve also defines the ocean-facing back deck, which arcs along the shoreline. Inside, an easy-going floor plan emphasizes informality, with the arrangement of rooms based on the family’s living habits rather than a prescriptive formula of how a house should be laid out. Architectural details, including locally turned white-oak columns and glulam beams that support the living-room ceiling, are integral to the structure rather than pasted-on decoration. For us, this added up to an award-winning new home that challenges cherished architectural assumptions without abandoning its local vernacular. Get an inside look at the house by checking out the video.