Renovation and Addition to an early 1800s Cottage / New Caretakers Compound

Coastal Rhode Island

1 / 14 – Photo credit: M. Thomas Architectural Photography
“Phase One of a multi-phased residential master plan is comprised of the renovation and addition to an 1800’s cottage into the client’s year-round home, and, the new construction of a caretaker’s compound which includes a caretaker’s residence and separate workshop/storage barn. All three structures share a common material palette consistent with the region’s vernacular architecture.”



Both the addition and new construction of this phase are sympathetic to the materials and methods of the farm’s historic buildings, but provides open spaces suitable for modern living. The exterior cedar shingle cladding, clapboard and trim are stained and painted an unassuming weathered gray.

Once a rabbit warren of small rooms, the main house has evolved into a building with an open plan featuring recycled Douglas fir columns and beams, a boulder fireplace and a series of slatted Douglas fir screens reminiscent of the wood lath that was exposed during demolition. Two metal clad monitors punctuate the gabled roofline providing light into a central stair and to an attic bedroom.

The caretaker’s house and workshop/storage barn are tucked into the woods apart from the original cluster of buildings. The simple gabled forms and materials of the compound are detailed with restraint. The buildings engage a square concrete walled ruin creating outdoor rooms that are populated with native ferns and a water feature. The interior of the caretaker’s house reveals the character of its construction. Though finished with more modest materials than its renovated 18th century counterpart, there is a dialogue and kinship established between the old and new farm buildings.

Project Data

Coastal Rhode Island
1997 – 2001
5,400 sf


Design Citation Award
Honor Award for Design
Grand Award
Citation Award
Honor Award