eye of the storm

While town architect at Seaside, Fla., Scott Merrill designed phase one of the Honeymoon Cottages (1988-99). The sextet of buildings were inspired by a cottage Thomas Jefferson lived in while building Monticello.

The dunes mask the height of the small-but-tall Honeymoon Cottages. Phase two of the buildings (1994-95) were larger and placed behind the beachfront set.

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Phase two of the buildings (1994-95) were larger and placed behind the beachfront set.

The all-faiths Seaside Chapel (2001) pulls together the town’s varied vernacular architecture and its transient community.

Merrill was drawn to Windsor for the opportunity to do more building types. His first phase Row Houses (1990-91) artfully articulate their symbiosis.

The firm’s work in densely sited resorts has taught it good manners. Highland Park House, located in an older Dallas suburb, mitigates a myriad of neighborhood styles and deemphasizes its size on street and flanking elevations.

Highland Park House

Merrill’s floor-plan hierarchy for courtyard houses: Living rooms trump bedrooms, bedrooms trump service rooms, and, where possible, circulate through rooms.

Merrill’s floor-plan hierarchy for courtyard houses: Living rooms trump bedrooms, bedrooms trump service rooms, and, where possible, circulate through rooms.

Commissioned to design a town center for Windsor, where there is no town, the firm oriented apartment buildings, a fitness center, and the mail room, to form a series of garden plazas.

At Windsor, guest houses, garden walls, and main houses all push to the lot lines, creating private courtyards amid the density.

This house takes advantage of a 6,000 square foot triangular lot.

The L-shaped House at Shelburne Farms in Vermont orients to views of Lake Champlain and forms, with several nearby stands of trees, a protected lawn.

The Sideyard House type (1990-91) makes the most of narrow, deep lots. In multiples, it can use the blank wall of the adjacent house to complete its private courtyard.

The firm’s talent with densely packed resort housing serves it well in breaking down the mass of large custom home programs, such as this compound in Buzzard’s Bay.

The cottages were Merrill’s first explorations into the power of repeated form.

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