Houzz Tour: Mid-century Modern on Cape Cod
What worked for 1948 society does not necessarily lend itself nicely to contemporary life, so when architect Mark Hammer was hired to add on to the Global Style house, he had some serious rearranging to do. “The house had a very formal arrangement with absolutely no link to contemporary family dwelling,” he says. His intervention needed to provide a brand new heart for the sprawling residence and gathering spaces for an active family, with more private areas spinning from this centre.
Hammer also wanted to honor the architecture of the house, located on land that was originally an extended portion of architect Nathaniel Saltonstall’s layout for The Colony. The Colony has a star-studded and literati-laden history; it became a very private spot for creative forms and celebrities to unwind and unwind in peace, while mingling together.
It was initially developed by Saltonstall and his partner Oliver Morton as a private club for modern art collectors in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. This city and the larger area about it on the tip of Cape Cod (also known as “the outer Cape”) have a long tradition of regional mid-century modernism. Hammer has analyzed this fashion, honored it when working on projects, fought to conserve it, brought it into the general public via an yearly house tour, and shared it via an exhibition he curated (running now through September 11, 2011). This project is an excellent illustration of how to preserve the original structure, which makes it work for a contemporary family, and add to it in a way that not only respects its history, but enhances it.
Let’s dive into the new heart of the house and spin out of there, as Hammer’s addition/reassembly does. This family room has a strong link to the outside. It reveals the structural system of extended fir post-and-beam structure, and the ceilings throughout the house have been crafted of fir decking. Hammer left the ceilings from the original portion of the home painted white, whereas the ceilings in the new addition are organic.
Look closely in this rendering — see the chimney in red toward the middle? It helps orient you as we take this excursion together. That is where the core of the residence is — involving the kitchen revealed above and also the living room revealed below.
The very best approach to take in this residence would be to jump between inside and out; the house is quite clear and blurs this line with broad expanses of glass, covered outdoor locations, views throughout the house from outside, and transom windows that get rid of the warm air (more on that later).
This brand new centre encompasses the common regions of the house, while private wings (one for children, one for parents, and one for guests), branch off in various directions. “The kitchen is the hub of all, and everything turns away of that,” Hammer says.
This really is a really active home with several generations and people staying together during the summers.
On the right side of the picture, you’ll see the large Italian tiles that cover the fireplace. These tiles have a metallic finish to them, and their scale stands around the size of their fireplace and large, open rooms.
The center dividers in the front facade are 9-foot sliding doors stored in the original house. The contemporary trellis on the left side leads to the front door.
Here’s a closeup of the entrance walkway and trellis, showing how those beams extend from indoors to out.
A new outdoor eating area away from the dining room and next to the existing screened-in porch is partially covered with a brand new trellis. “The new trellis clipped on to the existing beams, and is a take off on the original entry walkway,” Hammer says.
To off the kitchen, the dining room presents a much more formal spot for eating and gathering. Other options for dining include the screened-in porch and the brand new outdoor eating area seen in the previous shot.
The cantilevered built in buffet is an efficient space space saver and proceeds the nice clean horizontal lines. Additionally, it gives a link to the other chambers in the house, since it is crafted from the exact ash wood as the kitchen cabinets, dressers and other cabinets in the bedrooms.
Another important connector in the sprawling house is that this long hallway, which connects the public areas to the master suite plus contains a staircase down to the indoor pool.
The dramatic span of the brand new hall is improved by the narrow planks on the floors. The tile demarcates the seam between the new addition and the original house.
This hallway utilizes transom windows to cool the house. Hammer is a big proponent of the advantages of the windows, and even raised the roof here in order to accommodate them. “We use these in a lot of our endeavors,” Hammer says. “They open up all the way and allow the hot air to flow from the house, keeping it well-ventilated and incredibly trendy”
Wondering how to get those windows available without stilts? There’s a pole system that makes it easy, and an electronic alternative is available as well (though it will cost you).
The right side of the picture shows you where the new master suite is. The wood walls overlooks the exterior shower and its adjacent garden.
Here’s a glance on the opposite side of the wood wall. The outdoor shower has its own little garden as a focal point. The window offers a view in the backyard from the indoor shower.
The master bath’s shower connects to the outdoor shower’s backyard through the window on the rear side.
The floor tile is from Royal Mosa.
In their original Cape Cod house hunt, the family was seeking something on the water. But when they came across this house, they decided to bring the water into the house and had this pool. The husband is a triathlete and places in a lot of time.
Large glass doors enable the pool to open up to the outside. The pool is immediately surrounded in a rock coping, with slate covering the expanse past the pool edge.
Often, adding a indoor pool means incorporating another massive wing onto the main floor of the house. Not in this case. “We could nestle the indoor pool to the scene,” Hammer says. From that angle, you’d never know that it was there.
Ah, but there it is hidden within the topography of the website, providing a sunning deck off the master suite overhead.
Another significant change as 1948: “At the time that the house was built, the Cape Cod landscape was quite barren,” Hammer describes. The gorgeous forest around the website, filled with the normal scrubby pines found in the area, is a relatively new part of the ecosystem. The house, like the landscape, has grown and evolved over time.
More work by Hammer Architects
Cape Cod Modern House Trust
Mid-Century Modern Rejuvenation
A Mid-Century Modern Getaway
Houzz Tour: Craft Modern on Nantucket