Bluff House

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Occupying the crest of a windblown bluff overlooking the Atlantic and nearby saltwater ponds, the house’s interior situates the occupant between an earthen stone plinth and light trapezoidal roof forms. Shifting and skewed roof planes simultaneously provide a sense of shelter and openness. The space between the planes allows for clerestory windows, which let in diffused light from above.

The structure’s complex form is generated by the natural forms of the bluff. The house visually becomes an extension of the landscape as the roof planes reciprocate the formal qualities of the bluff, windswept cedars, and waves of the Atlantic below.
The angled floor plan allows for a sense of privacy within a neighborhood of Vineyard houses. The plan’s angles block out the neighbors from view, and create a covered exterior sitting area, addressing the ocean, and fostering a sense of privacy.

The building’s interior continues the cedar tongue and groove cladding of the exterior, creating visual continuity to the outside, as well as offering a sense of craft reminiscent of the Vineyard’s boat-building traditions.