Turning one couple’s dream of a seaside Cape Cod home into reality
Cape Cod has always been a place that evokes feelings that reside deep in the imagination. Many of these feelings are sensory: the tang of salt spray in the air, the sound of the ocean gently lapping on a calm day, and the deep blue of a clear sky meeting the silvery blue of the sea. Others come from man-made traditions: a summer vacation freeing a family from the tethers of work and school; long days at the beach and simple evening meals of fresh corn and a few lobsters thrown in a pot; special time spent with grandparents and cousins messing about with boats. All these elements come together around a seaside cottage, which fulfills a desire of both heart and mind to experience summer by the ocean in a comfortable, relaxed and sociable way.
“Almost a child’s relationship to a house—that’s what adults feel toward a second home,” says John DaSilva of Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders (PSD). “You hold an image of it in your mind and you long for it. You can’t wait to be there again. You dream about it.”
A seaside home yearned for in the imagination is what the firm set out to design for a property called Cabot’s Corner in Chatham. The home needed to evoke that idyllic, dreamy quality while giving a real family the space, light and functionality of a new house. Cabot’s Corner is tucked into an enclave of charming homes, some old and some new, atop a modest knoll with lovely views of the water on two sides.
Defining the elements of this dreamy place, and then turning the dream into reality, was the task PSD took on as architect and builder for the project, which was completed in 2013. DaSilva led as design principal, working alongside his wife, Sharon DaSilva, the firm’s senior designer.
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