Addition to a Historic Cape

Coastal Rhode Island

1 / 14 – Photo credit: Nic Lehoux
“Phase Two of a multi-phased residential master plan is comprised of an addition to a historic cape that was restored under separate contract. At the client’s behest, the cape was stripped of its jumbled additions and plumbing and returned to its gabled form and function of sitting rooms, sleeping chambers and hearth room. The addition serves two functions - it houses a kitchen and bath, which allows the cape to serve as a guest house, and, it serves as a catering kitchen for events held in the nearby barn.”



From the exterior, the massing of the addition is smaller, but similar in detail and proportion to the geometry of the historic cape. The interior is a study in contrasts with its partner; while the cape has low ceilinged rooms, the addition’s interior volume reveals its gabled form. Where wood trim in the cape is painted with historic brick red and ochre hues, the wood trim in the addition is white. A freestanding, cherry clad volume contains the bathroom, storage and kitchen components.

A 16 ft. long glazed passage connects the new addition to the old cape. The link’s thin roof tucks below the uninterrupted eave of the cape. Large expanses of glass were introduced at the addition to distinguish it from the familiar coastal palette of weathered cedar shingles and multi-pane wood double hung windows. The transparency of the addition and link frames views of the extraordinary landscape – hay fields, a lichen encrusted silo, stone barn and the Atlantic Ocean.

A new, cast in place, concrete watering trough has been positioned along an east west axis, including an entry to the adjoining barn, glazed link, glass paved lid over an historic cistern and an old stone well. The trough carefully knits together both old and new components of this poignant agrarian landscape.

Project Data

Coastal Rhode Island
1,000 sf Addition; 2,500 sf Original Cape


Small Project Award
Design Award, One and Two Family Custom Residences
Honor Award