The Rhode Island Beach House is located in a seaside community consisting of modest newly constructed and historic beach houses along the Rhode Island coastline in Charleston, however the clients desired a larger program to maximize the beautiful views to the water from the primary living spaces. This home was designed to emulate the existing coastal houses in the immediate seaside community by breaking down the larger program into smaller scaled components.
The “implied history” of the home suggests the idea that the home started as a small seasonal beach cottage. Porches, dormers, bays, and connectors were included to portray a history of additions over a long period of time. The issue of scale was paramount in not overwhelming the neighborhood with a large house by Charleston standards. The multi-surfaced shape of the house contributes to this issue of scale as its forms help to conceal the house’s massing.
Due to the nature of a corner lot, the zoning setbacks on the primary and secondary elevations had to respond to front yard setbacks, which further complicated the orientation and the scaling elements of the house. All of these design challenges were resolved in part to reinforce the “implied history” that has been established. This home has been whole heartedly embraced by the community at large.
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Front Exterior - Located in a seaside community on the coast of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Beach House takes advantage of the ocean views while staying modest in scale to the nearby streetscape. The challenge was to design a home with seemingly large living areas on a modest plan of 4,800 SF.
Back Exterior - The "implied history" of the home is an original cottage that had been added on to over time. Dormers, bays, and connectors were used to portray a history of additions.
Kitchen - To give the impression of a larger kitchen, the natural sunlight was enhanced with the wall of windows, white cabinets, light hardwood floors and matching wood countertops. Built-in appliance garages and pull out pantries were installed to reduce the clutter and capitalize on the space. To free up additional counter space, in the center of the u-shaped kitchen is an island range with a downdraft venting. While using the range, the cook faces towards the family room rather than a tall backsplash thereby encouraging social interaction amongst the family and guests.
Family Room - On the right wing of the home lies a family room bookended by a kitchen and serving station and divided by a stone fireplace. The placement of these connected spaces encourages family interaction, while fostering multiple activities, and maximizing space.
Dining & Great Room - During special occassions, the dining table can be turned parallel to the fireplace to allow room for a festive center piece i.e. a Christmas tree which acts as the first impression when entering the home. The double stone fireplace capitalizes on space by serving as a functional divider wall for both the family and dining room while providing warm for both areas.
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