Martha’s Vineyard is home to the single largest concentration of our residential work and some of our earliest projects, including the Polly Hill Arboretum. Chilmark House, like many of these commissions, is immersed in the landscape and continually reconnects its inhabitants with the surrounding woods, pools of sunlight and nearby Vineyard Sound. Entire walls and windows are designed to vanish and erase boundaries between indoors and outdoors. We were guided in the earliest phase of the project by the couple’s wish for distinct public and private spaces and the site’s topography. The central public space—the living and dining areas–plus a sitting room in the guest wing, are oriented toward a kind of natural sun-filled well on the house’s south side. Interior load-bearing elliptical columns allow sliding doors and windows to make large openings to the south in the exterior walls. Opposite, on the north side, sliding windows create large gaps in the exterior, connecting the living room and kitchen directly to the woods and waters of the sound. Bedrooms are on the wooded edges, on the east and west sides. A roof deck, terrace and side decks create outdoor living spaces. Shortly after completion of this project, the couple asked us to begin designing a guesthouse nearby as their family continued to grow.
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