On a narrow irregularly shaped lot fronting Spa Creek in Annapolis, Maryland this house slips between its neighbors emerging buoyantly as it lilts towards the creeks edge. Eschewing traditional ornamentation, the house is formally abstract, modestly scaled and simply clad to resonate with the local maritime culture. Designed for a couple with a passion for art and sailing, the house becomes a canvas for both interests simultaneously.

The house’s preeminent focus is on its promenade and connection to the waterfront. The desire for connectivity is equally about views and physical access. In order to set the stage for this, the program elements are layered across the site with “private” support spaces arrayed towards the street and along the landward property lines. The more “public” living spaces are dispersed closer to the water. The functional distinction is made diagrammatically legible through the massing strategy and amplified by material contrast. Support spaces live tightly packed within one of two platonic metal boxes and living spaces are associated with a stepped wood volume, which hovers over the living room and projects out to the water.

The contrast between these complimentary volumes is amplified by the subtle angle with which the wood box shifts to follow the property line, running along the southern edge of the lot. This allows the living spaces on both levels - living room on the ground and master bedroom on the upper - to open up expansively, rendering them spatially dynamic. They seem to break free of the constraints of the narrow lot. Adding to this thrust towards the creek, the volume of the house literally breaks free from the height restrictions defined by local zoning. This allows the roof of the wood box to step up until the master bedroom achieves a lofty vertical proportion. Here the promenade terminates at a covered balcony with commanding views across the creek to Historic Annapolis.

The simple metal boxes containing the support spaces are composed on the site so that one passes through them upon entering the house - as if through a breach in the street edge. The entry is punctuated by a raw steel canopy which links both boxes. The solidity of the larger volume, running along the northern edge of the lot, erodes as it transitions from pantry to kitchen, then to dining, before opening dramatically onto an exterior deck. The upper floor houses the guest suite, laundry and master bathroom.

The smaller of the two volumes, set to the south, contains a garage which accommodates two cars parked in tandem. This configuration minimizes the width of the garage as it faces the street. At the farthest extent of the garage, as it slips under the wooden volume, is an ornamental stair which is both carved from the garage volume and cantilevered out into the living room. The stair itself creates a seam between “public” and “private”, both horizontally and vertically, puncturing the simple southern facade to allow the landing to peak out facilitating unique views of the creek.

Sustainable Strategies:

- High albedo roof w/ hybrid rigid + spray foam roof insulation
- Vegetated roof

- Custom above grade bioretention planters

- Permiable pavers above storm water retention well

- High performance building envelope using FSC certified wood rainscreen w/ hybrid rigid + spray foam insulation

- Passive solar shading through deep overhangs and wood screening

- Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) + high efficiency split system hvac

- Controllable LED only interior + exterior lighting system

- Wetland and steep slope stabilzation through the use of native plantings + the mitigation of non-native invasive species

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Modern home with Outdoor, Gardens, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Slope, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Back Yard, Metal Fences, Wall, Metal Patio, Porch, Deck, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Walkways, Retaining Fences, Wall, Horizontal Fences, Wall, Grass, Landscape Lighting, Trees, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Hardscapes, and Garden. West Elevation @ Dusk Photo  of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

West Elevation @ Dusk

Modern home with Outdoor, Grass, Metal Patio, Porch, Deck, Side Yard, Metal Fences, Wall, Garden, Back Yard, Trees, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Horizontal Fences, Wall, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Slope, Hardscapes, Gardens, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Field, Landscape Lighting, and Walkways. View from Southwest @ Dusk Photo 2 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

View from Southwest @ Dusk

Modern home with Outdoor, Slope, Grass, Gardens, Garden, Walkways, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Field, Metal Patio, Porch, Deck, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Trees, Horizontal Fences, Wall, Metal Fences, Wall, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Back Yard, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Landscape Lighting, and Retaining Fences, Wall. West Elevation Photo 3 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

West Elevation

Modern home with Outdoor, Walkways, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, Hardscapes, Field, Metal Patio, Porch, Deck, Landscape Lighting, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Trees, Grass, Raised Planters, Retaining Fences, Wall, Horizontal Fences, Wall, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Metal Fences, Wall, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Front Yard, and Gardens. East Elevation Photo 4 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

East Elevation

Modern home with Outdoor, Garden, Raised Planters, Stone Patio, Porch, Deck, Front Yard, Grass, Hardscapes, Gardens, Metal Patio, Porch, Deck, Horizontal Fences, Wall, Landscape Lighting, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, Walkways, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Field, Decking Patio, Porch, Deck, Metal Fences, Wall, Retaining Fences, Wall, and Large Patio, Porch, Deck. East Elevation Entry Detail Photo 5 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

East Elevation Entry Detail

Modern home with Exterior, Glass Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Metal Roof Material, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, Metal Siding Material, and Stucco Siding Material. West Elevation Detail Photo 6 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

West Elevation Detail

Modern home with Exterior, Glass Siding Material, Metal Roof Material, Stucco Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Flat RoofLine, House Building Type, Wood Siding Material, and Metal Siding Material. View from Boat Dock Photo 7 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

View from Boat Dock

Modern home with Exterior, Glass Siding Material, Green Roof Material, Stucco Siding Material, Metal Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Metal Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, and House Building Type. View from Southwest Photo 8 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

View from Southwest

Modern home with Living Room, Concrete Floor, Recessed Lighting, Ceiling Lighting, Bench, Standard Layout Fireplace, Light Hardwood Floor, and Wood Burning Fireplace. Living Room Photo 9 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Living Room

Modern home with Hallway and Light Hardwood Floor. Entry Hall Photo 10 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Entry Hall

Modern home with Ceiling Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Recessed Lighting. Kitchen Elevation Photo 11 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Kitchen Elevation

Stair Elevation Photo 12 of Spa Creek House modern homeView Photos

Stair Elevation

Modern home with Living Room, Standard Layout Fireplace, Wood Burning Fireplace, Light Hardwood Floor, Ceiling Lighting, Recessed Lighting, and Bench. Fireplace Detail w/ Custom Hinged Screen Photo 13 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Fireplace Detail w/ Custom Hinged Screen

Modern home with Ceiling Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Recessed Lighting. Kitchen w/ Custom Steel Bar Top Photo 14 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Kitchen w/ Custom Steel Bar Top

Modern home with Living Room, Light Hardwood Floor, Ceiling Lighting, and Recessed Lighting. Living Room Photo 15 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Living Room

Modern home with Ceiling Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, and Recessed Lighting. Kitchen + Stair Detail Photo 16 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Kitchen + Stair Detail

Stair Riser + Rail Detail Photo 18 of Spa Creek House modern homeView Photos

Stair Riser + Rail Detail

Modern home with Light Hardwood Floor. Office + Stair Photo 19 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Office + Stair

Modern home with Hallway and Light Hardwood Floor. Hall to Master Suite w/ Custom Pivot Door Photo 20 of Spa Creek HouseView Photos

Hall to Master Suite w/ Custom Pivot Door

Credits

Posted By
Architect
Landscape Design
Builder
  • ThinkMakeBuild
Photographer
  • Brycen Fischer

Overview

Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2018
  • Square Feet
  • 3500
  • Lot Size
  • 9,118 SF (0.21 acres)