The Lighthouse

Nahant, Massachusetts
Location
  • Nahant, Massachusetts
  • Year
  • 2014
  • Square Feet
  • 1350
  • Bedrooms
  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 2
  • A family taps VIF Studio to rebuild a dilapidated coastal cottage on Longfellow’s historic summer property.

    This small cottage is part of a larger estate on Boston’s North Shore; it also includes the remains of Longfellow’s summer cabin. The community maintains strict height and historical restrictions, so VIF Studio leveraged the hillside location and built a two-story, 2bed/2bath structure featuring a stone tower. Evocative of several World War II-era submarine towers that dot the island, the tower offers expansive 180-degree views of the Boston harbor and skyline, and lends the formal language of a lighthouse.


    The Lighthouse negotiates between two conditions that require it to provide grandeur, yet still feel intimate. On the one side, it must pay deference to the Manor Home farther up the hill, as well as compliment the other summer cottage just a few feet away. To achieve this, the two cottages share an intimate garden tucked behind a retaining wall, and the roof of the Lighthouse angles downward to portray a more domestic articulation.


    On the other side of the Lighthouse, the sweeping water views informed a design emphasizing openness and prominence towards the cove. The ceiling height extends to over 10’ high, and a large window wall blurs the boundary between inside and outside. To further erase this line, exterior field stone wraps into the great room, and the window wall is detailed to minimize transitions out to the deck beyond. Moves like this are also found in a powder room with a private outdoor shower lined in the same stone used for the facade.



    Through a continuity of natural materials, minimal detailing and an open — even porous — layout, the Lighthouse achieves a visceral connection with its breathtaking surroundings. To complement this cohesiveness, VIF Studio uses a soft color palette for the interior design, mixing Shaker simplicity with modern details. The resulting home is one that conveys a strong sense of place to it’s inhabitants, be they guests for a night or a season.

    Sarah Lueck uploaded The Lighthouse through Add A Home.
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    Modern home with outdoor, stone patio, porch, deck, boulders, and back yard. The Lighthouse, ocean side, with the adjacent cottage in the background. Photo  of The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse, ocean side, with the adjacent cottage in the background.

    Modern home with engineered quartz counter, colorful cabinet, wood cabinet, light hardwood floor, ceiling lighting, refrigerator, chair, sofa, dining room, table, and accent lighting. Airy one room living/dining, with multiple sliding doors opening to a deck. Photo 2 of The Lighthouse

    Airy one room living/dining, with multiple sliding doors opening to a deck.

    Modern home with living room, sofa, ottomans, recessed lighting, and light hardwood floor. The exterior field stone wraps into the interior here, further blurring the line between indoors and out. Photo 3 of The Lighthouse

    The exterior field stone wraps into the interior here, further blurring the line between indoors and out.

    Modern home with kitchen, colorful cabinet, wood cabinet, engineered quartz counter, light hardwood floor, recessed lighting, cooktops, range hood, range, and undermount sink. Custom shaker cabinets are painted a shade of blue to compliment the ocean view. Photo 4 of The Lighthouse

    Custom shaker cabinets are painted a shade of blue to compliment the ocean view.

    Modern home with bedroom, bed, and light hardwood floor. The view from the tower bedroom, Boston in the distance. Photo 5 of The Lighthouse

    The view from the tower bedroom, Boston in the distance.

    Modern home with outdoor, side yard, walkways, shrubs, and grass. The tower at dusk. Photo 6 of The Lighthouse

    The tower at dusk.

    Modern home with bath room, porcelain tile floor, pedestal sink, enclosed shower, alcove tub, and two piece toilet. Clean and simple bathroom. Photo 7 of The Lighthouse

    Clean and simple bathroom.

    Modern home with bath room, concrete counter, medium hardwood floor, concrete floor, wall mount sink, open shower, and stone slab wall. A stone wrapped outdoor shower in the second bath. Photo 8 of The Lighthouse

    A stone wrapped outdoor shower in the second bath.

    Modern home with living room, chair, end tables, and light hardwood floor. Natural textures and materials used throughout in a neutral palette.  Photo 9 of The Lighthouse

    Natural textures and materials used throughout in a neutral palette.

    Modern home with outdoor, shrubs, side yard, slope, grass, trees, and walkways. The approach from the main house. Photo 10 of The Lighthouse

    The approach from the main house.

    Modern home with outdoor, wood patio, porch, deck, stone patio, porch, deck, large patio, porch, deck, metal patio, porch, deck, boulders, shrubs, back yard, grass, trees, and slope. Blending into the surroundings. Photo 11 of The Lighthouse

    Blending into the surroundings.

    Modern home with living room, sofa, ottomans, and light hardwood floor. The view from the living/dining room. Photo 12 of The Lighthouse

    The view from the living/dining room.