Home Magazine

Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired Style and Camping Collide in Maine

By Dwell @dwell
August Moon cabin with stone foundation and copper roof

From its locally quarried stone foundation to its zinc-coated copper roof, the cottage was inspired by its surroundings. “We talked a lot with our client about what the materiality would be,” says architect Karen Stonely, who, citing the organic style of Bar Harbor architect Robert Patterson, designed the structure with wood rather than drywall. 

Project  August Moon Architect  SPAN Architecture

In Bar Harbor, Maine, on a secluded waterfront property once used by Brooke Astor as a summer hunting ground, sits an eclectic little garden of collected curiosities: a fragment of a French-style chapel, a Chinese teahouse, a meteorite. At the center of it all, blending right into the landscape, is a 2,500-square-foot wood-and-stone cabin, designed by New York’s SPAN Architecture principals Karen Stonely and Peter Pelsinski. Nestled into a fern-covered hillside, the modest structure looks to the traditions of John Calvin Stevens, local architect Robert Patterson, and a modernism steeped in vernacular architecture rather than the International Style. “We took a really strong cue from that influence and from the landscape,” says Stonely.

The most arresting feature of the house results from its siting. Stepped back from the shoreline, the structure is first approached from nearly 200 feet above, where visitors are greeted by views of the roof’s zinc-coated copper eaves, jutting from the simple rectangular form like branches in the forest around it. But even this moment of drama doesn’t shout; the muted metallic finish recalls the moss around the house, while the structure’s base of locally quarried stone makes the second-floor living quarters appear to float.

“For us, this was all about reconnecting to the landscape,” says Pelsinski. “We played these games, like Edward Hopper, where you look through one room then outside to look back inside again, so there’s this layering of interior and exterior spaces.” Facilitating these indoor-outdoor sight lines are floor-to-ceiling windows in triple-stained fir, from Dynamic; wood walls stained to match carry the natural materiality throughout the house. 

A decade earlier, SPAN designed the client’s Manhattan apartment and discovered his love of dark wood and Arts and Crafts–style detailing. For this project, his vacation home, they combined these aesthetic interests with a utilitarian inspiration: National Park Service campsites, where the client vacationed as a child. Accordingly, the building’s design was stripped to the bare essentials. Two bedrooms frame an open living-dining area, where a pair of built-in daybeds for guests flank a stone fireplace. A dining table folds into the wall when not in use, and, in the master bedroom, a custom felt headboard with hand-stitched details provides storage for camp essentials, including a book, flashlight, and bug spray.  

“It’s in the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright,” Stonely says of the house’s holistic design program. “You’re experiencing it for its space, but you’re also touching every little element of it all the time.”

  • Log in or register to post comments

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • ARTmonday: 10 Colorful Landscapes by Portland, Maine Artist Joanne Gravelin

    ARTmonday: Colorful Landscapes Portland, Maine Artist Joanne Gravelin

    In searching for local New England artists last week on Saatchi Art, I came across the work of Joanne Gravelin, a Portland, Maine-based artist who creates... Read more

    By  Stylecarrot
  • Rope Inspired Decor

    Rope Inspired Decor

    If you think rope only fits with the nautical or rustic theme, you might be surprised! Rope might be one of the easiest choices for home decor in any style. Read more

    By  Decorology
  • You Could Live in This Lloyd Wright Home (For a Few Million)

    Could Live This Lloyd Wright Home (For Million)

    Lloyd Wright, son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and a modern master himself, designed the 3,100-square-foot, four-bedroom Brentwood, California, home... Read more

    By  Dwell
  • Frank / The Guest

    Frank Guest

    Frank is a film I first saw inside the Cinedrome tent at the Green Man Festival in August 2014. I’d seen trailers for it earlier in the year that hadn’t done... Read more

    By  Ollypj
  • Handmade Holiday: Moroccan Inspired Baskets

    Handmade Holiday: Moroccan Inspired Baskets

    I love Moroccan blankets, and inspired home decor, I mean who doesn’t. It’s just so beautiful and fits many decor styles, but they can often be too expensive. Read more

    By  Thedreamery
  • Inspired by Mexico

    Inspired Mexico

    This may well be the first of several posts inspired by the food we experienced while on holiday recently in Mexico. I have been itching to have a go at using... Read more

    By  Mwillis
  • Camping Plans for 2016

    Camping Plans 2016

    A brand-new year is already two-weeks underway! Over the Christmas break, I took a few minutes to jot down a couple of short lists – one for potential walks; th... Read more

    By  Ollypj