Contemporary architecture’s clean lines, walls of glass, and use of organic materials provide a universal language for design. When designed for spectacular New England sites, there is a particular excitement to the dialogue with rugged coastlines, lush forests, and open meadows.
In the five homes below, each architect has engaged with the character of the site to create spaces that both challenge and nurture.
Minawetu on Martha’s Vineyard was built with biophilic design, green technology, and sustainable materials. Tom Tate, of Tate Builders, grounded his design in biologist Edward O. Wilson’s work describing the fundamental human need to connect to nature. Expansive decks, solar power, botanical gardens, and a rooftop pool all contribute to the house’s successful execution of biophilic design principles.
A Modern Take on Oceanfront Living
Architect Adolfo Perez and Meichi Peng Design Studio collaborated to execute the reimagination of the site of an iconic 19th-century shingle-style summer house. The resulting residence offers a crisp modern aesthetic. Glass walls take in the dramatic ocean views while outdoor living spaces soak in the sun and breeze. Integration with nature at Smith’s Point includes naturalistic, low-maintenance landscape design.
An Elegant Pondside Retreat
Like Smith’s Point, the Lee Pond Estate also occupies the site of an earlier summer estate, evoking the grand 19th-century designs of Fredrick Law Olmsted with deep forests and flowering understory, a serene lake, rushing brook and rustic stone bridge. Also, like Smith’s Point, designer Meichi Peng, here in collaboration with architect Rich Levey, combines organic materials with a moving glass Nanowall to (literally) eliminate the barriers between inside and out. An infinity pool similarly invites the eye to integrate the built and the natural environment. An integrated app controls security, climate, lighting, and sound throughout the home. More cool attributes? The main entertainment space is centered on a glass-enclosed wine cellar, and the huge windows in the gym in the connected guest pavilion provide changing views to distract and delight mid-workout.
A New Take on a Beach House
At the Goose Rocks Beach Compound, walls of sliding glass invite the living spaces onto Maine’s longest sandy beach and take in the sweeping views of Timber and Stage Harbor Islands. A third-floor deck is a perfect vantage point for outdoor entertaining.
What Contemporary Does Best
Our fifth great New England contemporary embraces yet another iconic New England landscape, the rocky coast of Maine. This stunning Dyers Island house’s walls of glass that capture the changing views of the sky and the bay and brilliant sunsets over the Camden Hills. The Empyrean/Dwell-designed home has oversized windows, living areas for both entertaining and relaxed everyday living, and beautifully designed outdoor living spaces.
Looking to explore other takes on unique architecture? These homes take traditional and classic exteriors and marry them to modern interior designs. Discover more here: