Block Island Residence
Block Island, Rhode Island
“This seaside residence is rooted upon a windswept bluff on Block Island, comfortably set back from the edge and tucked behind remnant stone walls laid by early settlers who cleared the land to grow oats, barley, rye, and potatoes. A composition of simple gabled forms, the house refers specifically to the modest heritage of the island.”
This home was conceived of as a collection of seemingly discrete yet interconnected buildings, comfortably scaled for a family of four while accommodating extended family and friends. The shingled ‘houses’ offer the opportunity to zone activity, each skewed slightly to address a distinct attribute of the land. The main living space’s gabled form opens up on all sides to the expansive western ocean view, yet is carefully situated to align with an intimately scaled stone-walled garden.
Centering the plan arrangement is the kitchen and dining area, the heart of this family’s life. Guest and family bedroom buildings radiate from this focus of activity, reaching invitingly to the east and northward towards a freshwater pond. The master bedroom is articulated as a shape that hovers above this heart. Exterior cladding is extended into the interior spaces, enhancing the distinction between each ‘house’. Painted board interiors and simply executed details lend an uncluttered visual quality to the interiors, which enhances the sense of openness and provides a calm setting for the mid-century modern furnishings.
A lilting timber porch armature creates an inviting and deeply shaded entry to the home, and weaves around and between the houses to knit this loose composition together. Its fully glazed exterior walls blur the distinction between interior and exterior as one moves from space to space, lending a sense of openness and serving as a constant reminder of the special nature of this place.