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A Coastal Resurgence: The Atlantic Road Renovation

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Over the years, we have had many beautiful entries into the Architects Challenge, and with the start of Hurricane Season upon us, we wanted to feature one of the many beautiful coastal homes that have featured some of Marvin’s Coastal products that were designed to stand up to any storm. That includes this sophisticated coastal home from our 2012 program…

The homeowner’s originally considered tearing down this 1900s home in Gloucester, Mass. in order to construct a new residence for themselves and their extended family to use for gatherings year round. Once it was determined that the “bones” of the original structure were still in good shape after many years of neglect, Michael Szalaji of On the Boards Design was able to convince them of the value of saving it from the wrecking ball, and embarked on a 1 year + renovation project which incorporated key design changes to make it work within their programmatic needs lifestyle while staying true to its original character.

This project was a complete interior and exterior renovation of a 5300 square foot private residence on Cape Ann, approximately 30 miles northeast of Boston, MA. The property faces directly onto the Atlantic Ocean, and includes seven bedrooms and four and a half baths, kitchen, breakfast and study areas, formal dining and living rooms, a sunroom, and a two-story family room. The property also includes a 1000 square foot detached garage structure that was renovated to include a guest suite.

The existing windows were already quite wide, and by using Marvin’s double hung units, it allowed the renovation to remain true to the original architecture while maintaining the open views out to the ocean. Swinging French doors onto the front porch bring much needed light and access points while keeping a traditional look to the house face, while a large bi-parting sliding French door unit offers functional access to the side terrace from the kitchen.

The oceanfront locale makes for some amazing scenery, but brings with it the harshness of mother nature at many times in the year. Using clad window and door units from Marvin allowed the architect to provide a product with high performance specifications without sacrificing design character.

Perhaps the nicest room in the house was almost torn down during construction: a narrow side wing added by the previous owners to house an elevator chase was dark and gloomy, and the first instinct was to tear it off. By removing the elevator and using large Marvin double hung windows on the upper floor, Michael created a light-filled reading nook off the master bedroom that affords some of the best views of the ocean. The decision was made to combine two small bedrooms on the ocean side of the upper floor to make one large “bunkroom”, and the existing front dormer was reworked to provide a new center window that floods the space with light.

On the Boards’ design even thought of a good solution for the original “widows walk” (a rooftop platform frequently found on New England ocean homes). It was brought back to life with a new deck structure and internal ship’s ladder for access. Ahoy!

This is just one of the many beautiful entries that have come into the Architects Challenge over the years. On June 1, you’re going to have the chance to vote for your favorite of this year’s projects in the Architects Challenge Showdown. Whether you crave coastal or love landlocked, there will be projects to tempt you. We can’t wait to see your winner!

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