As Frank Gehry once said, “Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” With many homes, it may be easy to picture that home in another location entirely. What makes each of the homes presented here unique is how perfectly suited they are to their settings. It is hard to imagine this particular contemporary masterpiece from the North Shore being at home in a pastoral setting. Or this treehouse (as in a house literally built of trees) blending seamlessly into a beachfront community. Each concept is so specific to its location that to move it would be to take away an essential piece of the design. Yet, each of the architects and designers behind these projects achieved exactly what Gehry was after: timelessness.
Kragsyde | Architect: Adolfo Perez; Interior Designer: Meichi Peng
Adolfo Perez’s award-winning architectural firm describes their design approach as “less about a style and more about an attitude.” This attitude “reflects the time and place in which we live and build…embraces technology and sophistication while acknowledging the importance and beauty of craftsmanship.” A perfect summation of their work is reflected in Kragsyde, a contemporary oceanfront masterpiece. The design of the house is done entirely “in service to the view.” Between Perez’s architectural vision and Meichi Peng’s understated and elegant interior design, that focus on the view has been accomplished.
Sculpture in a Private Park | Architect: Tsao & McKowns
In an article with Interior Design, Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown discussed how they approached designing this home and making the most of the views. Rather than create a panoramic vista, instead, “there would be a specific view from the kitchen, during breakfast, and another from the bedroom, in the evening, and so forth.” Now, the home follows the path of the sun and results in a C configuration.
European Estate in the Berkshires | Designer: Dalia Tamari
New England Hall of Fame Interior Designer, Dalia Tamari spent three years designing this European-influenced country home. Known for her coveted kitchen designs, Tamari’s own kitchen is a prime gathering spot and features details like an island shipped from England, that actually had to be put in place before the walls of the home were built. Hear about the design process from Tamari in this video.
North Haven Road | Architect: Don Hisaka
Renowned modernist architect Don Hisaka’s designs were known for their elegant simplicity with “enlivening and playful details.” North Haven Road is no exception. A traditional Shingle-style exterior gives way to an interior featuring complex wood joinery and details that bring the waterfront setting in.
Grindstone Neck Cottage | Architect: W.W. Kent
For generations, families decamped from East Coast cities to seek the tranquility of the Grindstone Neck community. One architect who designed several of the homes in this “off-the-beaten-path” community is W.W. Kent. His traditional shingle cottages, like this one, have stood for well over a century and feature classic details.
Dark Harbor House | Architect: Fred Savage
When it comes to historic Maine homes, Fred Savage is a name you will come across often. He designed over 300 cottages across Northeastern Maine. For private homes, he tended to embrace a Shingle Style exterior, but occasionally he would embrace a Tudor or Colonial style, like Dark Harbor House. Built in 1896 but restored in 2011/2012, it is a stunning example of Savage’s work, which now also includes modern conveniences.
Rockport Harbor Views | Architect: Lawrence Cheng
Lawrence Cheng is no stranger to innovative projects. In this case, Nancy Talbot, founder of the eponymous clothing stores, commissioned Cheng to transform a historic, hillside Methodist church into a modern residence. The result: urban luxury in a seaside village.
Wolcott Woods | Architect: Union Studio; Landscape Architect: Ryan Associates
A team of award-winning designers was assembled to create a new community neighboring the Blue Hills. The mission to create something diverse and new while still honoring the historic origins of this former family estate was accomplished by architects of Union Studio and landscape architects Ryan Associates. Read their perspectives on the project and watch a video featuring Northland Residential’s design manager here.
The Treehouse | Architect: David Sellers
David Sellers, twice named as a one of the top 100 architects in the world, is known for his focus on designing and building with nature. That design approach is especially prevalent in The Treehouse, a unique home entirely constructed with trees.