House on Cape Cod
by Michael J. Crosbie
The client for this house on Cape Cod's Crystal Lake sought a modest and sweet country abode to replace a simple old summer cottage that sat between beautiful gardens and a sweeping lawn leading to narrow frontage on the freshwater lake.
The pastoral site and picturesque gardens suggested English countryside cottages to the architects, Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders, and this was an image that captured the client's imagination.
The efficient rectangular form is crowned with double gables that subtly curve to extend their lines gently toward the landscape and provide this house with its welcoming face.
Porches leading to terraces are placed on the front and back of the house to provide both lake- and garden-oriented outdoor living spaces. A large screened-in porch is the dominant space, at the center of the elevation, on the lakefront side. On the entry side, two porches welcome one from the curving driveway. To the southeast is a deep porch off the dining room, while to the northwest the entry porch features a gently curving archway that marks it as the front door.
A budget-driven need for efficiency allowed little room for dramatic spaces or special finishes. However, there are still some surprises inside. For example, in the kitchen is a carefully placed opening in the ceiling that opens this space to the second floor and its gracious hallway and twin facing bookcases, and provides a balcony over the kitchen. This occurs at a critical node in the plan: the small but central space in the house between the kitchen and screened porch.
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This article is excerpted from Architecture of the Cape Cod Summer: The Work of Polhemus Savery DaSilva by Michael J. Crosbie, copyright © 2009, Images Publishing Group, with permission of Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders.