Winkelman Architecture

Tidal River House

Kennebunkport, Maine

Project Team: Eric Sokol, Erin Vickers, Will Winkelman

Landscape architect: Richardson Associates

Structural Engineer: Albert Putnam

Builder: Trademark Inc; Ben Trout

Photography: Jeff Roberts

A contemporary, high performance dwelling, respecting a limited budget and responsive to the view and daylight

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Simplicity of form was a primary design objective for this contemporary dwelling that was built on a very limited budget. At its most basic, the house is a ‘shoebox’, a long thin rectangle with a flat roof, that has a pop-up second floor shed roof to accommodate additional program and to catch daylight from the south to throw down into the public spaces. 

The site is in a spectacular setting, set on the edge of a ravine that overlooks the flow of a freshwater stream into a tidal river.. dynamically changing through the day. The plan responds to the site as a ‘bar house’, or a single-loaded rectangular form that offers each space of the house a view of the ravine and tidal river. The entry is on the public/car side of the house with the entry axis crossing through the house, looking back out to nature and to the river view.  The flat roof of the ‘shoebox was planted to soften the otherwise ‘hard’ form. The effect was to lift the landscape up, onto, and over the building. A high-performance building envelope and systems was a priority and was achieved while respecting budget. Simple materials were used in different unique ways, delivering a low-maintenance exterior.