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May 10, 2019

Englishman Bay Retreat Receives AIA Maine Awards


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We are proud and excited to announce that Whitten Architects has received AIA Maine’s highest award for residential design, the Honor Award for Design Excellence, for the design of the Englishman Bay Retreat. The project was also selected as the People’s Choice Award among 57 submitted entries. We are grateful to our collaborators on this project: Nate Holyoke Builders, Albert Putnam Associates (structural engineering), Krista Stokes (interior furnishings), Atlantic Landscape Construction, and of course to our wonderful clients.

Annually, AIA Maine sponsors a juried review of Maine architecture to recognize the important and diverse work of Maine architects. The jurors are nationally—and this year, internationally—recognized peers who, after reviewing and critiquing the entries, select outstanding projects for recognition. This year, recognizing the similarities in Maine’s harsh northern marine environments and our state’s trading connection with Iceland, the Design Awards committee convened the first international jury in Reykjavík, Iceland.

On a coastal site with dense woods, project architect Tom Lane and principal Russ Tyson designed a house perched on steel columns allowing better views of a protected cove on one side and open ocean with a distant island lighthouse on the other. The use of natural materials and ample glass gives the house a transparent nature, camouflaging it within the trees and allowing it to unfold gradually rather than reveal itself all at once. The design preserves the pattern of use the family had established from walking between properties over many years and brings the path inside so that the house becomes an extension of it. Looking at the house as an extension of the path, we designed a long, thin U-shaped building that encircles an outdoor courtyard. An elevated treehouse quality means that as you move through the house—leaves brushing up against windows here and there—you feel as though you’re still walking through the woods. Read and see more.


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