Charlestown Beach

KITE Architects designed this new residence to celebrate its waterfront site with an elegant approach to its site, space and materials.

Charlestown Beach is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline on the eastern seaboard. Like much of the region, it suffered from Hurricane Sandy, and so building responsibly and for the long term were in the forefront as KITE Architects approached the project.

The project is designed to stringent coastline standards for new construction , including elevating the structure and creating a ‘break-away’ story on the lowest level that is a cohesive part of the design and avoids a ‘stilted’ effect.

This need to elevate the house is turned into an asset, with open living areas on the uppermost floor enjoying panoramic views of the horizon.

The project is conceived to be ultra-energy efficient.  The design incorporates passive solar techniques keeping the house comfortable year-round.  Energy saving building techniques including use of SIPS panel were deployed in collaboration with builders Newport Renewables.
The simplicity of the form is belied by the careful attention to siting, capturing views, and detailing of materials:
  • The upper porch is a recess carved from the main volume and retains the overhead supports, framing the horizon in a single elegant gesture.
  • The house is very careful placed to orchestrate sight-lines of the ocean and avoid views of the neighbors.
  • Projecting bays along the sides in the bedrooms and bathrooms direct one’s gaze to the waterfront while providing light and privacy.
  • The entire project is clad in vertical western red cedar arranged in a pattern that cascades across the projections and recesses.
The result is a carefully tuned celebration of craft and the surrounding vistas of sky and water.