“This environment is fragile and protected,” Miller says. “We wanted the new house to be harmonious with the landscape.” Building restrictions included staying as close to the original footprint as possible and not adding height to the house. “We were allowed to increase the square footage by 50 percent, and the only way to do so was to go up,” says Miller.
In order to go “up” to create a second story, the firm had to site the house eight feet lower, which allowed for the master bedroom and bath. This addition to the design created about 275 square feet, bringing the total of the new house to 875 square feet.
Along with creating a home with a bit more livable space, the couple wanted to open up the new house to the views. Miller turned the front of the house 15 degrees east to take full advantage of the vista. A wall of operable, plate-glass windows complete with awning transoms flank the first floor. “These large windows pop out about one inch all around and offer airflow—as much air flow as an open double hung window,” says Miller. The transoms are also operable, eliminating the need for air conditioning.
Another requirement in the design was to create an energy-efficient, sustainable home. The house, in fact, received an Energy Star rating. The couple relies on natural ventilation, which cuts down on energy consumption. “The house is weather tight,” says Matt. “In this high-wind environment, it really needed to be.” Miller used low maintenance and environmentally conscious materials throughout the design. He incorporated aluminum-clad wood windows, storm shutters, and FSC-certified cedar shingles with an oil finish that weather to that quintessential Cape gray hue.