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Kyle House, Brewster, Mass.

Kyle House, Brewster, Mass.

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    Warren Jagger

    A bike shed and a guest house compose the home's street elevation.

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    Warren Jagger

    The entry gives a glimpse of the boardwalk, which leads all the way to the painting studio at the back of the property.

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    Warren Jagger

    Architect James Estes carved out spaces for greenery in between the project's four small buildings.

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    Warren Jagger

    At the heart of the compound, the boardwalk becomes more of a porch adjoining the main house.

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    Warren Jagger

    A screened porch at the rear of the main house provides a semi-outdoor option.

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    Warren Jagger

    The 1,344-square-foot house is topped with a standing seam metal roof and clad in simple, white cedar shingles.

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    Warren Jagger

    The light colors and straightforward detailing of the interiors emphasize the home's identity as a relaxed, low-maintenance beach house.

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    Estes/Twombly Architects

    The home's site plan.

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    Estes/Twombly Architects

    The home's floor plan.

The jury appreciated the modest scale and straightforward planning of this Cape Cod, Mass., house. “It carries its simplicity through to both the interior and the exterior,” said a judge. “It’s carefully thought out, even though it looks pretty simple.”

Architect James Estes divided the house into four separate buildings, each designed at the one-story scale of the neighborhood. A one-bedroom main house serves as the owner’s residence, and a two-bedroom guest house next door accommodates visiting family and friends. (The two structures are connected by a covered walkway.) An existing painting studio and a shed for bikes, boats, and kayaks complete the little shingled compound. A 110-foot-long boardwalk weaves through all four elements, tying them together while referencing the nearby Cape Cod beaches.

Rather than string the buildings along in a straight line, Estes arranged them around the site’s best feature, a grassy, tree-ringed area that faces northwest. “By cocking the angle, we were able to enclose the sweet spot and give the house more privacy,” he says. “The angle makes it more interesting.” Unadorned detailing throughout the project—such as 2x4s used as rafter tails, a sliding barn door on the street-facing shed, and standing seam metal roofs—suits the home’s low-key demeanor. “It’s no-nonsense,” said a judge approvingly.


Entrant/Architect: Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, R.I.; Builder: Kendall & Welch, Osterville, Mass.; Living space: 1,344 square feet; Site: 0.4 acre; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Warren Jagger Photography.


Resources: Bathroom cabinets/fittings and kitchen cabinets/fittings/fixtures: IKEA, www.ikea.com;Bathroom fixtures: Decolav, www.decolav.com;Cooktop/refrigerator: KitchenAid, www.kitchenaid.com;Countertops: 3form, www.3-form.com;Dishwasher: Bosch, www.bosch-home.com;Flooring (tile): American Olean, www.americanolean.com;Hardware: Schlage, www.schlage.com;HVAC equipment: Westinghouse, www.westinghouse.com;Insulation: Icynene, www.icynene.com;Lighting fixtures: Lightolier, www.lightolier.com, RAB, www.rabweb.com, LBL, www.lbllighting.com; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Benjamin Moore, www.benjaminmoore.com;Roofing: Englert, www.englertinc.com;Skylights/roof windows: Velux, www.veluxusa.com;Windows: Eagle, www.eaglewindow.com