Located a short drive from desirable downtown Brunswick, and the campus of Bowdoin College, sat two forested lots. The furthest lot from the main street featured an old tree farm and a small pond. It was here our homeowners decided to build their new family farmhouse.
This new home couldn’t happen quickly enough for this high energy, growing family. With three small children, and active parents, this family was ready to build a home with room to grow and play. They desired an architecture that spoke to a “modern farmhouse.”
Our site-specific design solution sited the house on the northern portion of furthest parcel from the main road affording a sun pocket play yard to the south with views to the pond beyond. The long winding driveway adds to the secluded feel of the property, one that feels distinctly Maine. Upon approach one is greeted with a bold barn, which shelters the main house from cold northeasterly winds, and breaks the scale of the house proper. A large portal, a take on the porte-cochere, provides an inviting arrival. The portal offers a location for a car to unload little ones, or for kids and adults to stack their outdoor toys. It has access to both storage and a two-car garage.
Just past the portal is the main entry, a transparent link between the barn and main house. The entry floor is a hardy concrete radiant slab meant for muddy and wet boots. The mudroom, just off the main entry, provides ample storage for outdoor gear and full backpacks. A stair adjacent to the mudroom leads to a second level playroom within the barn. With this layout it is possible for kids to run from the outdoors in, and up to the playroom, without accessing the main house. The children, whom prior played in the basement of their old house, now have ample light and views of the front and back of the property. Durable cork flooring provides sound attenuation and soft footing for roughhousing.
The open floor plan of the main house spans east to west maximizing solar exposure with large windows facing south to the pond beyond. The second level cantilevers over the first protect these large openings. This open concept plan provides clear site lines from the kitchen in the east through the living and dining, and terminating in the screen porch to the west. Utility functions, including a half bath and pantry, flank the northern portions of the first floor. A cozy sitting niche is just off the living room with a wood burning fireplace and ample storage for books, games, and firewood.
Upstairs, three bright and equal bedrooms, march off the center hall with over-sized windows to the south. The laundry room is centrally located with the long-term goals of family participation. Mom and Dad’s private master suite is to the west boasting a large dressing room and master bathroom.
With its bold New England forms, functional plan, and durable low maintenance materials, this home will serve this family well for many memorable years ahead.
In 2018 this project received an AIA Maine Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture.
Project Completion Date: 2016
General Contractor: Benjamin & Company Inc.
Structural Engineering: Albert Putnam Associates
Interior Design: Krista Stokes