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Project DetailS
Scarborough, Maine

Higgins Beach Cottage

Higgins Beach CottageHiggins Beach Cottage

Project Location: Scarborough, Maine

When reimagining an existing cottage on Higgins Beach, our goal was to create a playful retreat for a young family looking to enjoy a barefoot, beach lifestyle. While the original house had no water view, it had the potential for a glimpse of the ocean from an attic level. Working with complicated town zoning ordinances and within a tight buildable envelope, we designed a vertical tower with an upper level that serves as a study and overflow guest space with a small balcony for views of the beach. The outback shed building was replaced with a new, more compliant utility building with play space, storage, and a laundry. Subtle changes to the floor plan, the relocation of doors and windows, and a rebuilt front porch provide open living spaces and a contemporary plan. The design not only offers plenty of space for the homeowners’ guests, but it now allows the family to enjoy the formerly uninsulated space year-round as well.

Sustainable materials and systems were used throughout with some playful touches. A pale-gray exterior and dark standing-seam metal roof are dotted with bursts of bright red. Inside, hardwood floors are mixed with the occasional whimsical square of red Marmoleum. Beadboard walls and ceilings magnify the cottage vibe, while the kitchen’s white tin ceiling is contrasted with stainless-steel counters and lower cupboards. The contemporary use of both interior and exterior materials, forms, and spaces resulted in a finished project that accommodated the client’s full program, while maintaining the relaxed barefoot beach theme.

In 2008, this project won an AIA Maine Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture.

Project Completion Date: 2007


Rob Karosis


Design Story

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