Faced with FEMA regulations for Atlantic coastal flooding, this Passive House home is to be elevated 1.5 stories above grade. That puts its single, main living floor right in the tree tops. Designed as a vacation, weekend and retirement spot, this modern rambler takes cues from mid-century modern furniture.
Sitting atop a tapered-leg platform made from site-poured concrete, it hovers amidst bird habitat, and offers views extending south from the Atlantic shorelines of Massachusetts to its inland salt marshes on the north.
The property remains largely untouched as the undercarriage elevates the bulk of construction. An entry tower made from site-poured exposed concrete holds solid stairs and an elevator. On the main level, a sheltered wooden bridge provides access from the stair tower to the house, as well as shelter from the elements and a south-facing outdoor space.
On the inside, this home features an open and welcoming public center section with kitchen, living and dining spaces. Extensive window seats provide views of the salt marsh; transom windows to the east and west map morning and evening sun angles onto the walls of the great room, which extends up 1.5 stories. The dining area connects to a screen porch, which leads to another platform for 360-degree bird watching.
Both east and west ends feature individual 2-bedroom suites.
The home is designed to meet the stringent Passive House building energy standard and features German-made triple-pane Passive House windows, airtight and super-insulated construction, as well as balanced heat-recovery ventilation. Heating and cooling are provided by an air-to-air heat pump system. All equipment and lifelines are moved up in the air to provided storm safety.