Architect: Robert Ben Begley, Architect
This summer residence sits off the beach in the trees along a stretch of beach where the owners have spent their summers since the 1940’s. This cottage was designed as a multi-generational family gathering place. The square footage was created without an overpowering scale by digging into the site and developing a rear courtyard that is privately enclosed by a stone wall. This helps create a view from the beach of a well-balanced single story cottage. The courtyard provides an alternative outdoor living space out of the wind with outdoor access to the lower level bedrooms and other living spaces.
The lower level includes mirror image bedrooms and bathrooms that make all things equal for siblings and their families. The grandchildren enjoy their freedom bunking together in the well-designed dormitory room. The master bedroom and bath enjoy the privacy of being on the main floor in their own separate wing, unaffected by extended hour activities.
The kitchen, dining and living room occupy most of the main level and include an open, vaulted ceiling with Douglas Fir timber framed trusses and paneling. An Eastern weathered fieldstone wall and fireplace adds a beautiful, warm feeling to the room. The extensive Douglas Fir cabinetry and built-ins with black granite and concrete countertops all help to add an extra warmth and cozy feel to the space. Because of today’s electronic and communications technology a separate office and study enables the owner to effectively deal with business while extending the time away from the corporate headquarters. Long-range interior accessibility is assured with a customized matching interior elevator.
Many of the interior furniture pieces were custom designed to fit the space by local designer Kathleen Wills and were also constructed using local craftsmen and materials.
Large expanses of Ipe (pronounced e pay) decking, a large screened in porch and an outdoor hot tub help to make outdoor living a pleasurable experience. The elevated Ipe boardwalk to the beach provides direct access to the beach without disturbing the critical dune under it.
The exterior is a square log and chink look with exposed rafter tails and features Eastern weathered fieldstone laid up in a dry stack appearance. All doors and windows have operating, heavy cedar shutters that use locally hand forged hinges and hardware. These allow the cottage to be totally closed in from winter storms that blow in from off the lake. The roof will last many generations to come and requires no maintenance, being made using a galvanized standing seam metal roof. All stone slab steps, walls and other areas were landscaped using native species of plants to help blend the cottage with its surroundings by the architect who is also a landscape architect. There’s also a separate remote garage that provides boat storage with an exercise room above.
The cottage was designed and built using the best energy efficient and green building materials and methods possible. The interior is heated using a high efficiency in-floor radiant heating system and cooled using a high-pressure air conditioning system. Two inches of closed cell foam provides a thermal break between the ground and all cement floors in the lower level to help insure the warmest and driest of floors. All wire and plumbing penetrations are sealed along with all other areas of air infiltration. Careful attention is given to all areas of insulation to help keep all heating and cooling costs down. Proper moisture control and water drainage is maintained to help assure there are no future problems.
The challenges of this project were many including working on the edge of a critical dune area, retaining as many trees in close as possible and preserving the trail feeling access to the site.