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Despite the visual connection, DaSilva was also able to pull off the creation of a core comprised of the kitchen and stairwell. “This came from my studying the work of Mies van der Rohe,” she says. One of the most influential modernist architects of the Twentieth Century, Mies had introduced the Core House in 1951, a project that he envisioned to be participative, one that its inhabitants could finish as they wished. Not only is the kitchen of Laissez-Faire a modernist element within an outwardly traditional home, it also references the collaboration that took place amongst the design-and-build team and the owners.

Although Laissez-Faire sits in a residential neighborhood, the back side of the house, which contains many of the crucial design features, gazes from its many glass eyes north-northwest across marshes and a wide tidal creek. Once entering the home, its position and views create a sense of true isolation, a connection much more with nature and wildlife than with the bustle of even Chatham, itself far removed from Boston. PSD meticulously designed each room to receive natural light and to access portions of the view. Even the basement multi-purpose room opens to vistas of water and marsh grasses. “It’s a great house to be snowed in at,” says the owner. “We’ve spent several hard winter stretches here.” 

After its extended design process and six-year pause prior to construction, the owners moved into Laissez-Faire in 2012, and they appreciated the streamlined experience of working with Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders for a number of reasons. “We ended up with everything we could have hoped for; we give major kudos to PSD for creating a home so unique and distinctive, but at the same time respectful of its neighborhood,” the owner concludes. “It was really beneficial to have Sharon as project manager and knowing that she, as the designer, was working directly with the team that were driving in the nails. It’s a testament to Sharon’s design that seven years after we moved in, we’re still in love with our house.”

For more inspiration, check out other homes we’ve covered on the Cape and Islands!

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