Gap Cove House

Rockport, Massachusetts
Location
  • Rockport, Massachusetts
  • Year
  • 2016
  • This project page was created by community member Ruhl Walker Architects

    In this age of rising sea levels and palatial homes overrunning coastal towns while dominating their fragile ecosystems, this more thoughtful house stands out. The modestly-sized house was designed in close collaboration with the local Conservation Commission, exceeds recently updated FEMA regulations, and was designed to produce as much electricity as it uses over the course of a year. Its overtly modern design is more about responding to its rugged site and to its inhabitants’ needs and dreams rather than a statement about style.

    Inside the relatively compact 40'x40' house -- built on the foundation and partial framing of a previous structure – is an elevated main living space along the entire oceanfront side that is open to the original house’s roof framing. Two levels of compact bedrooms and bathrooms exist on the west side and adjacent to the master bath is a small "courtyard" with bi-folding doors to expand the shower to the outdoors. This space also acts as a thermal chimney to enhance natural ventilation. At grade is an open-air living space defined by raw concrete piers, a cedar clad ceiling, and a built-in 16' long steel and wood dining table anchored to the concrete at the north end. This porch doubles the house's living area in good weather, a tangible benefit of raising the house even higher than the flood zone requirements stipulated.

    The material palette is light and bright inside: bleached white oak flooring, white painted poplar walls, engineered wood cabinetry, white custom-perforated steel stair and railings, and translucent polycarbonate panels that bring borrowed afternoon light into the main living space. The interiors counterbalance the dark, rugged copper and red cedar exterior. The exterior materials were selected to minimize maintenance and to patina over time to mottled greens and greys that will match the lichen-covered rocks to which the house is anchored.

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects

    for your consideration @dwell.com

    Photo Courtesy of Ruhl Walker Architects
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    Ruhl Walker Architects
    @ruhl_walker_architects
    Ruhl Walker Architects For over 20 years we have committed ourselves to creating architecture of all types and sizes for clients not only throughout New England but as far afield as Hawai’i and St. Croix in the USVI. Natural materials, expressive forms, and meticulous attention to light and views have been at the core of our practice and are manifest in our projects regardless of their context. Common to our design process is a commitment to clear and open communication, the careful management of resources, and a fundamental belief that innovative and coherent design is a joyous and essential component of the human experience. With each project we strive to demonstrate that inventive and elegant design is achievable, even within strict economic parameters, by respectfully listening and responding to the client’s needs and desires, thoroughly understanding the nature of materials and methods of construction, and carefully managing the design and construction processes. As part of our client-focused process we use a diverse set of design tools custom tailored to each client − from simple hand sketches to elaborate computer animations and rendered models − to ensure the spatial quality and experience of each project is thoroughly understood throughout the design process. Initiating a construction project can be a daunting prospect, but we pride ourselves on being there for our clients at every step of the way, from helping to identify goals at the beginning of the project, to turning over the keys at the end of construction. We look forward to bringing the joy and excitement of innovative and coherent modern design to your project.
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