estes/twombly architects, newport, r.i.

When asked for ideas that would drive the design of their house, these clients came up with a fitting metaphor: a Saab. The house, they said, should be like the car: clean of line, well-crafted, and a little quirky in form. Those are the qualities the judges also admired. "It has the purity of an old American farmhouse, but still looks contemporary," they said. "There are no gratuitous moves."

Located across the street from waterfront homes, the project's greatest challenge was to design for both privacy and views. Architect Peter Twombly responded by creating a partly transparent core. The kitchen has a water view across the living room, but also a strong link to the rear terrace. Two enclosing wings shelter the house from close-by neighbors.

The vista is pleasant, but it isn't all this house has to offer. By placing the structure against the front setback, Twombly created inviting spaces in back. A glassy bridge connects the house to a two-story garage and media room behind the house, and a pool house anchors the other corner of the lot. Tightly jointed stonework complements the house's crisp lines and ties it to the site, part of a former farm.

project architect: Peter Twombly, Estes/Twombly Architects
general contractor: BAM Building Corp, Newport
project size: 4,930 square feet
site size: 1 acre
construction cost: Withheld
photographer: Warren Jagger