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In the Eye of the Beholder

Sea Change

The most obvious example of DaSilva’s intent is probably the entrance to Sea Change, where a robin’s egg blue door nests behind the frame of two columns and an archway. However, as DaSilva points out, “The columns are not real classical columns. They are references to the classical. They are flattened, which makes them more interesting, unique and contemporary—playful, not stodgy.” Likewise, the archway refers to the familiar while allowing for other effects. “There’s a sort of incompletion,” he says, “with one full arch and hints of two others. Or one might see two brackets that spring from the top of the columns, or fountains, or torches.”

The use of “multi-thematic architecture,” explains DaSilva, “is more reflective of our modern world, more consistent with our era.” The home’s exterior has a “taut skin” into which both the entrance porch and the larger side porch have been “incised.” He says: “The effect is subtractive rather than additive. There are multiple reasons for doing this: it’s efficient for mass, for the footprint, for the use of the roof, and it helps keep the house looking fresh and of our day rather than of a different era. And yet it’s still compatible with Greek Revival and other styles common to the Cape.” The sea change from a simple beach house to this dynamic Harwich Port home truly displays, as Ariel sings in “The Tempest,” a metamorphosis “Into something rich and strange.”

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