The SALTHOUSE was designed first and foremost, for those living in it. It is open and transparent, yet very sheltering and solid. It uses form and space to create specific environments tailored to the purpose of the space itself. The entire house is open to all rooms, with doors being used only when they are required for privacy. It is transparent, establishing views not only out of, but through spaces, similar to the views found in the natural world. It puts both the outside and inside worlds on display. The assembly of spaces separates public and private, but also intertwines them making for a welcoming home that invites you to see all aspects of life that takes place here.
An obvious path leads the individual to the hidden formal entrance, but like a magnet they are drawn to the outdoor space that seems so far away, creating a tension between what is close but unseen, and what is far but obvious. Upon entry, a sculptural fireplace, integrated with the structure, provides a focal point of warmth and welcoming, while the view beyond draws the visitor into the home with a sense of exploration. As they enter the roof lifts away from their heads creating a sense of spaciousness and light. All of the main public spaces are oriented here, along the southern exposure, to take advantage of the natural light, and thermal massing benefits for the spaces most commonly occupied. Each space opens to the next, but is also well defined as its own place with its own purpose. Entry to the pool room is through the ¾ guest bath, this is to both trap excessive moisture, and promote good hygiene when using the pool. The room is situated on the South West corner to capture the most intensive heat of the day in the water, and with a heat exchanger connected to the filter, could help to heat the house through the night. The family room has a less open ceiling, and less views outside creating a den-like environment. The dining room, the heart of the home, is open and warm and full of light with windows that go all the way to the roof. The kitchen and adjoining pantry are located to take advantage of the adjoining screened in porch, but also for ease of travel from the garage.
In the physical center of the house, is the vertical circulation which leads to the office/loft space above the kitchen. This space overlooks the entire house, with views to both entries, and also to the East and South. Across a bridge are two bedrooms and a full bath, creating a space that is visually close to the public areas, but physically distant, granting a sense of independence, but not separation. The guest bedroom, is cradled on the catwalk, suspended between what is public and private. The master suite occupies a space which is well removed and private, with full views of the woods to the east. The master bathroom is in the most private and serene place of the entire house, and has the only view that looks into the north woods, making it possible to invite nature into the room completely with a full wall of glass starting at 3’6” high and extending all the way to the ceiling in which there is a skylight positioned directly above the shower head filling the room with natural light.
The exterior of the SALTHOUSE emulates the history of the area by utilizing the form of a traditional New England “Salt Box” style house. New age materials, such as corten steel, charred wood siding, and brass fascia boards, give the home a modern and timeless feel. The natural environment is drawn in, and the built environment is pushed out, in an effort to blur the lines between the two forces. Solar panels placed on the roof and sustainable design practices such as passive solar design, thermal massing, heat exchangers, radiant heating, and thick, well insulated walls create a home that is very energy efficient. In the end, the SALTHOUSE is like a strong couple, the duality makes for the whole.
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