Natural Harmony

Eric Roth It’s not surprising that a couple living a fast-paced life in New York City, fell in love with the natural windswept beauty of Cape Cod after their first visit more than 20 years ago, and have made it their vacation destination each year since then. When a two-bedroom fishermen’s cottage—600 square feet—came up for sale in the Cape Cod National Seashore, they saw the ideal spot for their retirement home. The location was perfect: a property high on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. “I love living near the water,” says the wife. “It’s hypnotic.” Although the location was more than ideal for the couple, the house and land posed a few challenges: The site was a steep, sandy slope; the original 1940s shanty was not weatherized and—oddly enough—wasn’t oriented toward the views; and there were strict building and height restrictions if a new building were to be erected on the site. The couple quickly realized they were going to have to build a new house on the land in order to live there year-round. They had admired a house in Truro designed by Andersen- Miller Design, a Los Angeles based firm that works nationally. They contacted the firm to help them with plans to revamp the existing structure. It was clear to lead architect Matt Miller that nothing was salvageable in the old storm-beaten cottage. Miller was familiar with building guidelines and codes in the park and town of Wellfleet, and he knew they would need to design a house sensitive to the surroundings.

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Nancy Berry is a freelance writer who lives in Yarmouthport.

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