21st century modern design in Wellfleet
Modern design meets green living at this well-appointed Wellfleet vacation home
For Bay Area residents Laura Mamo and Helen Fitzsimmons, owning a home in Wellfleet was a long time coming. In their 25 years together, the couple has shared a love for Cape Cod—particularly the Outer Cape, especially since Mamo’s brother and mother live in the area. Wanting to spend more time with family, the two set out to find their ideal Cape property, knowing that if they found the right property they would build a modest, modern house in “as green a way” as possible.
“Housing is one of our biggest energy consumers,” says Mamo, a university professor of sociology and co-author of Living Green: Communities that Sustain (2009), “so it’s important, as we move forward with climate change, that we are very thoughtful about reducing housing energy.”
Over the course of several years, they considered plots of land with local modern home builder Art Hultin, unable to find the right fit—that is, until two years ago, when they discovered a steeply sloped, three-quarter-acre wooded lot in Wellfleet located less than a mile from the center of town and the beach. “For us it was perfect,” Fitzsimmons says.
The resulting 1,900-square-foot house, designed by green architecture firm ZeroEnergy Design and built by Hultin, is a vacation home that serves not only Mamo and Fitzsimmons but also the environment. “I think it’s a great example of modern architecture in the 21st century,” says Stephanie Horowitz, ZeroEnergy Design’s managing director and principal architect on the project. “This home represents the new wave of modernism, accounting for energy efficiency, thermal comfort and reliance, in addition to a modern aesthetic.”
Such considerations are evident when viewing the house’s front façade. The gray panelized siding is made of fiber cement, providing the residence with a unique industrial appearance in addition to durability. “Having materials that would require little maintenance and will withstand the Cape environment was important,” Horowitz says. To add warmth—and some visual interest—to the entryway, Horowitz utilized cedar clapboard underneath the entry porch and on the south-facing bump out, which houses the living room.
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