SPAN Architecture builds Astor Residence on remote Maine coast

New York Town studio SPAN Architecture has accomplished a remote retreat in Maine on a house that includes gardens and a teahouse educated by Chinese architecture.


Named Astor Home, the property is situated on Maine’s rugged coastline, overlooking the waters of Western Bay. Encompassing around 200 acres (80.9 hectares) of land, the home serves as a retreat for a New York Metropolis couple.

The household was created on a home on the Maine coastline

The house the moment belonged to American socialite Brooke Astor, who acquired an early desire in China via her travels as a boy or girl when her father served in the US navy. Her secluded Western Bay property served as a getaway for her and close acquaintances, wherever she designed a pavilion and tea house educated by Chinese architecture.

Its existing house owners very first engaged Karen Stonely and Peter Pelsinski of SPAN Architecture numerous yrs back for an apartment in Manhattan. They selected to do the job with the architects once more to restore the property’s existing tea residence and pavilion, as well as create a new visitor dwelling and main residence for the homeowners, their spouse and children, and pals.

A Chinese pavilion on the web page was renovated as portion of the work

“The meandering backyard and constructions by late architect Robert Patterson have been meticulously restored and modernised,” stated SPAN Architecture. “SPAN’s more substantial masterplan for the residence incorporates these accessory buildings – the historic, Chinese-styled cottage now named the Pool Pavilion and the Teahouse as it was – to complement a new visitor residence as very well as a new main household.”

The angled rooflines of equally these constructions provide sights of the bay further than the owner’s living areas, and create sheltered outside places for socialising and gathering.

The new constructions have angled rooflines

SPAN Architecture developed the visitor household very first, as a way of tests specified style strategies that would later on be used to the principal residence. This more compact developing sits a little bit additional absent from the water than the key house, which also can help keep it out of sight.

The key residence’s cheapest amount comprises five bedrooms and is partly sunken into the landscape, opening on a single aspect to the exterior. This produces a plinth for the higher tales, which consist of all of the home’s general public spaces, and the owner’s bed room earlier mentioned.

“The experience of going for walks as a result of the home parallels that of meandering by the landscape,” stated SPAN Architecture. “The very same way that the landscape delivers at any time-shifting vistas, surprise, delight and a perception of discovery, the program creates a narrow entrance that offers just a trace, to people, of the open, double-height residing place past, with the kitchen in a different route solely.”

The key bedroom occupies the prime floor of the house and enjoys a wraparound terrace that overlooks the other outdoor spaces. Full-height glass partitions on a few sides produce a comprehensive immersion in the site’s lush purely natural surroundings.

A wraparound terrace delivers panoramic views from the main bedroom

SPAN Architecture’s substance palette was based on nearby supplies, as perfectly as research on the tea home and pavilion’s first architect. Nearby cedar, Douglas fir, and stone from the similar quarry as used for the before creating were applied during the interiors.

An eclectic assortment of furniture parts rounds out the decor. “A charming component of the furnishing is that old and new happily co-exist antique and vintage decor contrasts with other, more modern sculptural things,” stated SPAN Architecture.

Eclectic home furniture features throughout the property

Other waterfront residences in Maine contain a cedar-clad dwelling by Caleb Johnson that sits on strong picket stilts, and a dwelling break up into two parts linked by a tall glass atrium that architects Maria Berman and Brad Horn crafted for themselves on Vinalhaven Island.

The pictures is by Rob Karosis.

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