Kolbert Building General Contractor

Carroll Associates Landscape Architect

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Context

On a stunning waterfront property in Southern Maine with views of Mackworth Island, Portland's East End, and beyond, stood an antiquated, poorly sited structure that did not take advantage of the grand opportunity this piece of land afforded. The client, after entering Architecture School as preparation for a second career, was looking for something contextual, yet sculptural and contemporary, and with little maintenance.

Response

Inspired by the nearby Maine Audubon, and the many birds that frequented the skies overhead, the building, using the tall stand of trees to the west as an anchor, uses its form to convey movement and flight. The north side, with its Cor-ten (naturally rusting) and corrugated steel claddings and few openings, acts as a dynamic privacy buffer while the south side opens wide to the water, inviting the light deep into all spaces. A second-story screen porch off an upper level bedroom and studio affords views deep into Casco Bay. Solar panels, reflective light shelves, and incredibly air-tight construction are just a few of the features that have helped this highly sustainable project receive LEED Gold certification.

In Town

This home sits within walking distance of many local amenities, including the grounds of the Maine Audubon and a bus stop at the end of the street.

Renewable Materials

Many of the materials used in this home are made from recycled content, are environmentally friendly and come from local sources.

Water Conservation

Plumbing fixtures have been installed that use significantly less water than typical fixtures.

Sustainable Landscape

This project keeps site disturbance to a minimum, uses native, drought tolerant plants (such as blueberry sod) and reduces the amount of water-thirsty grass on the site, and shades as much of the hardscapes as possible. Natural drainage patterns are unaffected by the new structure.

Energy Efficient

This house uses strategies such as passive solar, increased insulation, higher-performing windows and doors, and air-tight construction, along with reliable ventilation strategies, to increase comfort, reduce the size of any traditional mechanical system, and significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. Light shelves bounce natural sunlight deep into the space, allowing the owner to keep the lights off all day. They also serve to protect the house from overheating.

Renewable Power

This house employs renewable energy technology through solar panels - evacuated tubes for both heat within the radiant floor slab as well as domestic hot water - in order to reduce energy costs, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and decrease its carbon footprint. Efforts were made to make these panels invisible from view.

Award Winning

This project has been LEED Gold certified.