Chilmark House

Martha’s Vineyard, MA  USA

Client: Couple with grown children and grandchildren

Scope: Composition in 3 distinct parts: formal entry into large central room that combines kitchen, dining and gathering area, bordered by master bedroom and guest wings; single story with roof deck; 2,700 square feet

Martha’s Vineyard is home to the single largest concentration of our residential work and some of our earliest projects, including the Polly Hill Arboretum. Chilmark House, like many of these commissions, is immersed in the landscape and continually reconnects its inhabitants with the surrounding woods, pools of sunlight and nearby Vineyard Sound. Entire walls and windows are designed to vanish and erase boundaries between indoors and outdoors. We were guided in the earliest phase of the project by the couple’s wish for distinct public and private spaces and the site’s topography. The central public space—the living and dining areas–plus a sitting room in the guest wing, are oriented toward a kind of natural sun-filled well on the house’s south side. Interior load-bearing elliptical columns allow sliding doors and windows to make large openings to the south in the exterior walls. Opposite, on the north side, sliding windows create large gaps in the exterior, connecting the living room and kitchen directly to the woods and waters of the sound. Bedrooms are on the wooded edges, on the east and west sides. A roof deck, terrace and side decks create outdoor living spaces. Shortly after completion of this project, the couple asked us to begin designing a guesthouse nearby as their family continued to grow.

Materials: Cast integral color concrete; copper; fir; mahogany; ash; beech; black granite; powder coated aluminum; stainless steel cable; zebrawood

American Institute of Architects New England, Award for Design Excellence
Boston Society of Architects, Housing Design Honor Award

General Contractor: Standen Contracting Company, Inc.
Landscape Architect: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Ocmulgee Associates
MEP Engineer: Erdman Anthony & Associates Inc.
Surveyor: Vineyard Land Surveying & Engineering, Inc.
Specification Writer: Richard D. White
Cost Estimator: Faithful+Gould

Photographer: Chuck Choi Architectural Photography