ruhl walker architects, boston

The owners of this Cape Cod acreage want to take advantage of its ocean views and white sand beach without damaging the delicate dunes. Making a sensitive situation even trickier is the neighboring Edward Hopper house that overlooks the site through the famous painter's studio window. Brad Walker, AIA, proposed renovating an 1820s house that sits on the inland edge of the lot as a primary residence, then building a retreat on the water. His design features a two-bedroom concrete base burrowed into the sand and topped by a glass pavilion. The long, narrow footprint barely disturbs the dunes' regular shifting pattern, and existing dune trails link the old and new structures.

Our judges liked how the building acts as “background architecture with a sculptural quality” and called it “a poetic folly.”

principal in charge / project architect: Bradford C. Walker, AIA, Ruhl Walker Architects;
project size: 1,400 square feet;
site size: 10 acres;
construction cost: To be determined;
renderings and sections: Courtesy Ruhl Walker Architects.