Launch Slideshow

Aquinnah, Mass., Residence

Aquinnah, Mass., Residence

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    This vacation home combines contemporary planning and detailing with archetypal beach-cottage cues.

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    The building sits low to the earth, with no steps greater than 4 inches.

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    A paneled wall topped with translucent panels screens the kitchen great room from the entry.

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    The kitchen great room opens on three sides to a view of Vineyard Sound.

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    Cable bracing at the center window helps resist wind loads.

With its flat roofs, Modernist massing, and contemporary details, this vacation home has its own look. But even if you ignore the sandy scenery all around, it also has beach house written all over it. Architects Phil Regan and Jim Cappuccino broke the building into low, modestly scaled “pods” to understate its volume, clad its exterior in driftwood-hued red cedar, and added stainless steel accents with a nautical connotation. “The clients came with a notion of what a Martha's Vineyard beach cottage should be,” says Cappuccino, “but we ended up with a modern expression of that.”

The architects sited the building “to create an unveiling of the view of Vineyard Sound,” using architecture and landscaping to delay visual gratification until the moment of maximum impact. That occurs when one enters the central great room, which opens on three sides to a classic scene of meadow, dunes, and ocean. Two nearly identical pods house a master bedroom suite to the east and a bunkroom and family room to the west. Here, as in the great room, reclaimed fir flooring and board-paneled walls deliver subtle cottage cues.

Our judges praised the house for reflecting so well its place on earth. “It's very site-specific,” said one. They also admired the efficiency with which it does its job. As one judge noted, “It doesn't get simpler than that.”

Project Credits
Entrant/Architect:
Hutker Architects, Vineyard Haven, Mass.
Builder: Perry Construction Co., Oak Bluffs, Mass.
Living space: 2,869 square feet
Site: 1.2 acres
Construction cost: Withheld
Photographer: Brian Vanden Brink

Product Resources
Bathroom plumbing fittings: Dornbracht, Kohler, KWC, Toto; Countertops: Caesarstone; Dishwasher: Miele; Entry doors/interior doors: Simpson; Hardware: Omnia; Kitchen plumbing fittings: Franke, KWC; Lighting fixtures: Artemide, CSL, Modern Fan, O'lampia, Ponoma, Tech Lighting, Zaneen; Oven: Jenn Air; Paints: Benjamin Moore; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Windows: Eagle Windows and Doors; Wire rope/stainless steel cables: Jakob.