New Meadows River, Brunswick, ME
Project Team: Eric Sokol, Will Winkelman
Builder: Ron Leblanc
Photography: Trent Bell, Eric Sokol and Will Winkelman
Trollstua (Troll's Den) - a Norwegian reference.
Our client, a single university professor, had purchased a small property on the banks of a tidal river in Brunswick, Maine, that had an existing ranch that was neglected, cramped and composting. A tear-down/rebuild was the clear choice. Her goals were to create a modest, bright, comfortable, and energy efficient new camp on a tight budget that she could enjoy year round that made the most of the natural beauty of the site.
The result is a 1090 sf, single level, two bedroom dwelling. Zoning constraints on the rebuild (we were well into the shoreland zone) forced a creative approach to forming the new structure’s volume. A traditional gabled roof would have exceeded the allowable volume, so instead we warped a flat roof, laying it flat and low at the private/bedrooms end, and twisted it up to the water views, south light and more expansive living spaces on the public/living/water end. A planted roof seemed to be a self-evident choice, especially given the overwhelming beauty of the site, blending in seamlessly.
The client’s family is from Norway, so a Scandinavian vibe was fitting, and the planted roof concept caught-on. The planted roof was a practical choice as well, reducing runoff and bolstering the already super-insulated building envelope (though we found few planted roof precedents or resources in Maine to draw from... so we had to figure it out as we went along... since then we have designed several more). The carefully crafted woodwork, completed at a reasonable price.
Almost all of the interior and exterior finishes were sourced from local mills and quarries. This fit in nicely with the green spirit of the house but had the added bonus of keeping costs low. The scale of the finishes was deliberately exaggerated to emphasize the small structure’s strong and unique relationship to its natural surroundings.