The Medomak River house is a retreat for a Boston couple. The house rests on a sloping coastline where the river becomes a tidal estuary. The site embodies the classic mid-coast Maine landscape: a thick pine forest over rocky glacial till.
The building is intended to create a discreet, but engaged intervention in the landscape. Concrete retaining walls carve a low ground plane for the single story structure to nest into the slope, stretching across the natural topography. The house is organized around a single circulation spine that connects three primary volumes: living room, master suite, and guest suites. The spine also serves as a gallery, mudroom and library. All rooms of the house open directly to courts, terraces, decks, or porches that offer multiple ways to occupy and engage the landscape. Daylight is captured directly from the waterside through expansive glass, and on the inland side through clerestory windows and ceiling coffers.
The house is a place of retreat and solitude, designed to embody the craft and simplicity of a Japanese teahouse. A high level of detail and custom fabrication were developed in support of a singular architectural vision, and the design team collaborated closely with the owner to create solutions at every scale, from the smallest cabinet handle to bedroom furniture and bathroom hardware.
A limited palette of mahogany siding, copper roofs, and concrete walls defines the exterior. Interior floors, walls, cabinetry and ceilings are formed of white oak to create a continuity of surface and a sense of embrace.