This project nestles into a darkly wooded site off of a dirt road on Martha's Vineyard. This summerhouse is designed for an extended family of 22 people. The challenge of this site is to create the presence of light and sun while preserving the beauty and thickness of the woods into which the building complex is carved. The quality of light on the site is soft and diffused, and sunshine streams in through the trees. The site strategy weaves the house into the woods, creating a precinct of indoor / outdoor, outdoor / indoor spaces that are organized to capture the sun within the wooded condition.
The house is not conceived as a singular object; rather, it is composed of a series of interlocking interior and exterior voids that reveal themselves to the observer as one moves through them in a process of unfolding out and up to the light. The house cannot be understood at any singular moment in time; it is dependant on the direct human experience of movement for its realization. The house both prioritizes the interior and exterior void over the solid, and preferences the individual over the material object in its realization.
The ambiguity of indoor and outdoor spaces is enhanced by the series of overlapping roofs that knit together solid and void and frame views through the house and to the landscape beyond. An expansive translucent glass roof brings the living room and entry a wash of diffused light from above, mimicking the natural forest condition. This translucent glass plane extends into the exterior wooded court, creating an ambiguous exterior space that overlooks the woods. A fireplace under this glass plane is oriented to the outdoor living space and provides a pivot between the living room and the court. A horizontally slatted fence runs through the trees along the site's boundaries, connecting the main house to the screened sleeping cabins. This enclosure creates an "interiorized" exterior precinct in which the elements of nature play.
Three screened sleeping cabins for the extended family further the ambiguity between inside and outside spaces. Two define the edge of the wooded court and are accessed by exterior trellised walkways. The third screened sleeping porch, accessed by an exterior light frame metal stair, is located on the roof of the main body of the house, adjacent to the roof deck.