Pretty Perch

An existing building remnant was the only reason a house could be built on this 40-acre wetland site. Architect Gale Goff designed a vacation retreat that respects and treads lightly on its delicate site. She brought in landscape architect Martha S. Moore to help create outdoor spaces that allow the owners to experience the sea of ever-changing undulating flora without encroaching upon it. “Most of the outdoor spaces are elevated to gain views and to keep them from sinking,” Goff says.

A cool covered walkway with an outdoor shower and potting bench connects the main house to the guest quarters, but the hub of outdoor activity takes place on a terrace just off the living room. Moore says she took cues from Goff's minimalist architecture to produce a low-key design that blends with and capitalizes on the amazing landscape. Oversized bluestone and flagstone pavers rest on low landscape walls made from reclaimed local stone. An indoor-outdoor fireplace and custom spa offer outdoor options throughout the year, while a wood pergola planted with grapevines shades the space.

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Warren Jagger Photography

“I never wanted to compete with the natural landscape, because it's too spectacular,” Moore says. “I designed almost like it was a water view, but [with] fields instead of water.”

Builder: Jacob Talbot – Fine Homebuilders, Adamsville, R.I.; Architect: Estes/Twombly Architects, Newport, R.I.; Landscape architect: Martha S. Moore, Landscape Architect, Tiverton, R.I.; Photographer: Warren Jagger Photography.